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Gene Luen Yang is an American comic artist and writer whose graphic novel American Born Chinese was a 2006 finalist for the National Book Award in the young people's literature category,[1] the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award,[2] and was awarded the 2007 Members' Choice Award from the Asian American Literary Awards. It has also won the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award for young-adult literature,[3] a first for a graphic novel.[4]

Yang authored the first five graphic novel trilogies based on Avatar: The Last Airbender, in addition to "Rebound", Shells", and "Sisters", which were written for Free Comic Book Day. The North and South trilogy was his last work for the Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels, after which his position as writer for the graphic novels was filled by Faith Erin Hicks.[5] He later returned to the franchise as artist for "Sokka's Poem", a short story released as part of the comic anthology Team Avatar Tales.

Avatar: The Last Airbender works[]



Avatar: Braving the Elements credits[]


  • 41. ""The Siege of the North, Part 2" with Gene Leun Yang"

Selected other credits[]

Graphic novels[]

  • New Superman (2016-2018)
  • Superman (2015-2016)
  • The Shadow Hero (2014)
  • Boxers (2013)
  • Saints (2013)
  • Level Up (2011)
  • Prime Baby (2010)
  • The Eternal Smile (2009)
  • American Born Chinese (2006)
  • Animal Crackers (2004)

Biographical information[]

Yang's drawings are created with what Scott McCloud refers to as a "cheap tool bravado", using everything from brushes to Sharpie markers to Pigma Micron pens to ballpoint pens.[6] His artwork has been shown in San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum.[7] Following American Born Chinese, Yang wrote The Eternal Smile, a collection of three short stories in comics, done in collaboration with Derek Kirk Kim. His latest book is Prime Baby, originally serialized in The New York Times Magazine.[8] In 2011, Yang released Level Up, with art by Thien Pham.

Yang currently lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he taught computer science at Bishop O'Dowd High School.[9] His father is an electrical engineer from Taiwan and his mother a programmer who grew up in Hong Kong and Taiwan.


  • Yang's favorite character was originally Zuko,[10] but due to his work on The Rift trilogy, Toph Beifong became his new favorite.[11]
  • Yang is a huge fan of Faith Erin Hicks[12] and, following his decision to step down as writer on the Avatar graphic novels, encouraged her to take the job as his replacement.[13]


  1. Jeff Yang (October 25, 2006). ASIAN POP: See you in the funny pages. San Francisco Gate.
  2. Julie Bosman (October 12, 2006). National Book Award Finalists Chosen. The New York Times.
  3. Michael L.. American Library Association and Printz Award. Retrieved on January 23, 2007.
  4. Cecelia Goodnow (January 22, 2007). The Oscars of kids books Newbery and Caldecott Medals awarded in Seattle. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved on January 23, 2007.
  5. Holub, Christian (October 5, 2017). Avatar: The Last Airbender comic gets new creators, new designs. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  6. McCloud, Scott (2006). Making Comics, New York: Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-078094-0. Pg. 211
  7. Contra Costa Times staff (January 29, 2006). "Sunday A&E big calendar". Contra Costa Times, Pg. F4
  8. Yang, Gene Luen. Prime Baby. The New York Times. Retrieved on June 4, 2011.
  9. Yang, Gene Luen (2006) American Born Chinese, New York: First Second
  10. Sunu, Steve (December 1, 2014). Exclusive: Yang Guides Avatar: The Last Airbender through Smoke and Shadow. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved on December 1, 2014.
  11. Shick, Michael (2013-07-25 accessdate=2014-02-08). 'Avatar: The Last Airbender': New comic series announced, more in the works. Hypable.
  12. Yang, Gene Luen (October 5, 2017). Yo, Airbender fans! I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS! I'm a huge fan of @FaithErinHicks!! HUGE. Twitter. Retrieved on November 13, 2017.
  13. Hicks, Faith Erin (October 5, 2017). So thanks to @geneluenyang for encouraging me to take the job, it meant a lot. I've been working closely with Bryan & Mike, which is GREAT. Twitter. Retrieved on February 22, 2018.
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