The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim [in Bloomsbury Review]
From two of the most successful names in contemporary graphic novels – Gene Luen Yang, whose multi-award-winning American Born Chinese was the first-ever graphic novel to be a finalist for the National Book Award, and Derek Kirk Kim, the equally multi-award-winning author of groundbreaking Same Difference and Other Stories – comes an entertaining joint venture that’s actually three stories in one. Being who they are, expect the unexpected, of course!
In “Duncan’s Kingdom,” a young knight fights all sorts of evil characters and is just about to get the gorgeous Princess when reality, uh, interrupts his good fortune. Hey .. isn’t that Gordon Yamamoto (from Yang’s 2004 Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks) hanging out with the common masses on page 35?
The second story, “Gran’pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile” is all about greed … and using religion to be even greedier and therefore wealthier! Ultra-evangelical Colorado Springs come to mind? But the Church of the Eternal Smile is not at all what it seems.
And in the third and final “Urgent Request,” overlooked office drone Janet Oh – hoping to meet her Nigerian prince who’s suspiciously named Henry (?!!) – actually answers that scam mail about a family fortune needing to be dispersed pronto … does she know something we don’t?
Readers: Young Adult, Adult