Eisner Awards 2014

April 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Gene's Blog

They announced the 2014 Eisner Award nominations yesterday, and Boxers & Saints was nominated for Best Publication for Teens!  Actually, three of the six books in my category are from First Second Books. As a former high school teacher, I’m really proud to be a part of a team that’s serving that age group so well.

Congrats to all the other nominees!  So many friends on the list:  Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham, Alex Puviland, Cecil Castellucci, Faith Erin Hicks, Kazu Kibuishi, Paul Pope, Frank Cammuso, Zander Cannon…  I’m super-excited that Zander Cannon’s Heck was nominated.  Great book.  Check it out if you haven’t already.  You can find the full list here.

LA Times Book Fest 2014

April 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Gene's Blog

I had a blast at the LA Times Book Fest last weekend.  First, Boxers & Saints won the LA Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature!  I was listed alongside some of our very best YA authors: Elizabeth Knox (Mortal Fire), Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl), Joyce Sidman (What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms and Blessings), and Jonathan Stroud (Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase).

I also got to hang out with some really amazing people. (Just a warning — I’m about to name-drop like NOBODY’S BUSINESS.)

The lighting makes Rainbow and me look like a panel out of Frank Miller's Sin City.

The lighting makes Rainbow and me look like a panel out of Frank Miller’s Sin City.

I met Rainbow Rowell for the first time and we connected over 80′s comics.  She’s currently working a graphic novel with Faith Erin Hicks, one of my favorite cartoonists ever, for First Second Books.  It’ll blow your mind when it comes out, I guarantee.

Selfie with John Green. Bucket List Item #146, check.

Selfie with John Green. Bucket List Item #146, check.

I also got to hang out with John Green, albeit briefly.  He and I first met when we were both honored by the Printz Awards folks way back in 2007.  Since then, John’s become a full-blown rock star.  I shared a golf cart ride with him from one venue to another (golf carts to authors are like limos to rappers, in case you didn’t know), and women freely professed their love for him from the street.  I wanted to too, but that’d be weird, right?  To get off the golf cart just to yell “I love you” at John Green?

Cecil and me bein' fancy.

Cecil and me bein’ fancy.

In a Venn diagram of the book industry and the comic book industry, Cecil Castellucci fits right in that overlap space.  She write both YA novels and comics.  Odd Duck, her GN with Sara Varon, just got nominated for an Eisner Award!  (Congratulations, Cecil!)  She’s also one of the funniest people ever.  Whenever she does an impression of… well, anybody, she makes them sound like Chris Farley.  Hilarious.

After this photo, Laurie Halse Anderson went to author talks to fill her mind.  I went to that table behind us to fill my stomach.

After this photo, Laurie Halse Anderson went to author talks to fill her mind. I went to that table behind us to fill my stomach.

Laurie Halse Anderson and I did a panel with Eliot Schrefer and Jason Reynolds at PLA a couple months back.  It was one the best panels I’ve ever been a part of.  Laurie was speaking at the LA Times Book Fest on Sunday, but she came on Saturday just to attend talks by other authors.  Professional development.  I guess that’s how you become Laurie Halse Anderson — you never stop learning.

Boxers & Saints shortlisted for the LA Times Book Prize!

February 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Gene's Blog

Boxers & Saints was nominated for the LA Times Book Prize in the Young Adult Literature category!  What an honor to be listed alongside Elizabeth Knox, Rainbow Rowell, Joyce Sidman, and Jonathan Stroud! Thank you, LA Times!

Check out all the lists here.

Read Eisner Nominees For Free Online!

April 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Gene's Blog

As the weeks go by, more and more 2011 Eisner Nominees are showing up FOR FREE ONLINE IN THEIR ENTIRETY! I have selfish reasons for letting you know about this: My own Eisner-nominated book Prime Baby was originally serialized in the New York Times, and they still have the entire story on their website FOR FREE! I have to say, though, it’s not as reader-friendly as the print version from First Second Books.  :)

Here are links to all the nominees you can read online FOR FREE!  I’ll add more as they become available.

It’s a good time to be a comics geek, isn’t it?  Especially if you’re on a budget.

Prime Baby Got An Eisner Nom!

April 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Gene's Blog

Prime Baby, my graphic novella about sibling rivalry and space aliens, just got nominated for an Eisner! Thank you, 2011 Eisner Committee!  Thanks for recognizing my book, and thanks especially for all your hard work!  The Eisner Awards are incredibly important for the industry and the medium.  Reading comics is fun, but reading that many comics has to be pretty rough on the brain.

Every time the Eisner list comes out I’m reminded of all the amazing books from the year before that I haven’t read yet. (Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book sounds especially awesome.) Great to see Raina Telgemeier’s Smile, Barry Deutch’s Hereville, and  Gerry Alanguilan’s Elmer get some recognition!  Those were a few of my favorite books from last year.

Here’s a preview of Prime Baby:

10 Notable Asian American Books of 2010

January 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Gene's Blog

The Eternal Smile, my book with Derek Kirk Kim, was included on Hyphen Magazine‘s list of 10 Notable Asian American Books of 2010. Thanks, Hyphen!

2011 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

January 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Gene's Blog

YALSAThe Young Adult Library Services Association has just released their 2011 List of Great Graphic Novels for Teens, and Prime Baby made the list! Thanks, YALSA! You guys are the BEST! Seeing the list reminds me of all the awesome comics from last year that I still need to read, like Doug Tenapel’s Ghostopolis and Drew Weing’s Set to Sea

Prime Baby is a Mavericky Marverick

January 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Gene's Blog


Just got word that Prime Baby made the Texas Library Association’s 2011 Maverick Graphic Novel List!  Thank you so much, Texas Library Association!  (Specifically, the Young Adult Round Table of the Texas Library Association!)  I am honored to be listed alongside such impressive works.  Have y’all (hee hee) checked out Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile, Raina Telgemeier’s  Smile, or David Small’s Stitches?  I reckon you oughtta, on accounta all three are on the list and all three are mighty fine funnybooks.