TCJ Reviews Level Up!

By | July 26th, 2011|Categories: Gene's Blog|Tags: , |

Rob Clough just reviewed Level Up for The Comics Journal.  He captured my working relationship with Thien pretty accurately: Pham, on the other hand, is an artist whose instincts seem to be almost directly contrary to Yang’s. He’s minimalist and almost childlike in his renderings. He’s essentially a minicomics guy given slick paper and the opportunity to use [...]

The New York Times Likes Level Up!

By | July 18th, 2011|Categories: Gene's Blog|Tags: , |

Pamela Paul recently reviewed Level Up for The New York Times (NEW! YORK! TIMES!): There are the cartoonish headline tales of Tiger Moms and their obedient, violin-playing daughters and dutiful, Intel STS-prize-winning sons. And then there are the often more complicated lives of real Asian-American sons and daughters, recently explored by Wesley Yang in his much [...]

Unshelved Guest Strip

By | June 3rd, 2011|Categories: Gene's Blog|Tags: , , , |

Thien and I did a guest strip for the awesome online comic Unshelved, where our characters review Sweethearts by Sara Zarr!  Take a look here.’s Geek Dad Likes Level Up

By | May 24th, 2011|Categories: Gene's Blog|Tags: , |

Level Up, my new graphic novel with illustrator Thien Pham, was recently reviewed on the Geek Dad blog: Even though my own story isn’t like Dennis’ — my parents encouraged me to find my own path and didn’t push me into medicine or law — Level Up still struck a chord with me and it’s a [...]

Kirkus Reviews Likes Level Up!

By | May 12th, 2011|Categories: Gene's Blog|Tags: , |

Kirkus Reviews, aka The World's Toughest Book Critics, just reviewed Level Up: Pham’s slyly muted art, infused with console-game design, gives Dennis an appropriately (given his issues) childlike look. Those creepy angels will stay with readers. As narrative, Yang’s immigrant-parent theme—like the “be yourself” message of his Printz Award–winning American Born Chinese—is conventional; braided with parallel [...]

Gaming Bits Likes Level Up!

By | March 18th, 2011|Categories: Gene's Blog|Tags: , |

This review was published last year, but it's still worth bragging about. Gaming Bits, the popular gamers' website, likes Level Up! Level Up is an upcoming graphic novel from First Second Books. The story of Dennis is one that many can relate to. Whether you are an aspiring professional gamer, game developer, game reviewer, or just [...]

Giant Robot Likes Level Up!

By | March 8th, 2011|Categories: Gene's Blog|Tags: , |

Erik Nakamura, publisher and editor of the premiere Asian American pop culture magazine Giant Robot, likes Level Up! Scott Pilgrim might have opened the doors to comics that can co-mingle with video games, but no one wants to redo what's been done and that one took a big bite into the conventions and ideas of gaming, [...]

The Eternal Smile: God and Cartoon Frogs

By | January 27th, 2011|Categories: Gene's Blog|Tags: , |

Earlier this week, Caroline Luzzatto gave The Eternal Smile a nice review over at The Virginian-Pilot: Can comic-book frogs really ponder the nature of God, organized religion and the meaning of life? Actually, yes. But you have to read it to believe it. Thanks, Caroline Luzzatto! Full review here.