Friday, April 6, 2012

On the Wrong Side of the 4th Wall-American Born Chinese

      American Born Chinese is a graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang. It's really three stories: The ancient story of the Monkey King, told as remembered by the author when he was a kid; the modern story of a young 2nd generation immigrant who moves from San Francisco to a small town, where he gets made fun of; the modern story of teenage Danny, who is annoyed by his visiting cousin who is every stereotype of Chinese people made by Americans in one package. I won't reveal what happens after that, but it's great.

      My favorite story was that of the Monkey King, known to the Chinese as Sun Wu Kong (Or Sun Wukong.) and the Japanese as Son Goku. (Yep, he was the inspiration for Goku in Dragon Ball.) It was so interesting I'm thinking of checking out a translation of Journey to the West so I can read more about him. The art was very good, the moral was great, and it was overall just a good novel. I recommend it to anyone, with one exception. Nope, the exception isn't those who don't usually like comics, they'll probably like it fine. The exception is the small number of people I know who like comics, but only if they involve superheroes. Weird, right? Laters.

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