The Eternal Smile

The Eternal Smile


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Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and is a MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of what's popularly known as the MacArthur "Genius" Grant.

A fantastical adventure through the worlds we live in and the worlds we create.

From two masters of the graphic novel—Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and Derek Kirk Kim (Same Difference and Other Stories)—come three magical tales.

The story of a prince who defeats his greatest enemy only to discover that maybe his world is not what it had seemed.

The story of a frog who finds that just being a frog might be the way to go.

The story of a women who receives an e-mail from Prince Henry of Nigeria asking for a loan to help save his family – and gives it to him.

With vivid artwork and moving writing, Derek Kirk Kim and Gene Luen Yang test the boundaries between fantasy and reality, exploring the ways that the world of the imagination can affect real life.

The Eternal Smile is the winner of the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Short Story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596431560
Publisher: First Second
Publication date: 04/27/2009
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,169,633
Product dimensions: 8.44(w) x 6.12(h) x 0.62(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Grant. He is a New York Times bestselling graphic novelist whose award-winning work includes American Born Chinese, a Printz and Eisner Award-winner and National Book Award finalist; Boxers & Saints; The Shadow Hero; and Eisner Award-winning The Eternal Smile.

Derek Kirk Kim is the author of Same Difference and Tune, and the winner of the trifecta of comics awards – the Eisner, the Ignatz, and the Harvey.

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The Eternal Smile (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
zzshupinga on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This graphic novel is a collaboration between two masters of the field--Gene Luen Yang ([[ASIN:0312384483 American Born Chinese]]) and Derek Kirk Kim ([[ASIN:1596436573 Same Difference]])--with Gene writing wonderful short stories and Derek bringing his evocative drawing style. Together they show us three different stories about the worlds we create and the worlds that we live in. In the first story we meet a young prince who discovers his greatest enemy is not who it seems to be; the second story (which is where the title of the book comes from) shows us a wealthy frog that finds that sometimes things aren't as they seem and the simple life maybe better; and the final story is about a young woman who may have discovered her Prince. Gene's stories create blur the line between fantasy and reality and create a world that we can all instantly recognize and feel a part of....and leave us wanting more. Even though he only has a few pages, the characters have more depth to them than many longer books and help us instantly feel a connection to them. Derek's evocative drawing style brings these characters and worlds to life. The greatest example of which is in the third story "Urgent Request," which alternates different color schemes and is drawn in a more lose style than the other two stories, but has a greater sense of power and purpose, which is difficult to describe in words. If you've never read any of Gene's or Derek's work pick this book up and discover the magic they can create. Then....go pick up their other books and enjoy those worlds as well.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Three stories that play wonderfully with the borders of reality. A prince finds his fantasy world unravelling at the edges, a greedy frog starts a new religion so he can obtain a pond with enough gold to swim in, and a Nigerian fraud pays off unexpectedly. Hilarious Second Life reference.This would be a good introduction to graphic for nervous post-modernists. And for anyone who enjoys stories with a twist.
derfman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This graphic novel is comprised of three separate stories with similar themes. They convey messages about truth, reality, and contentment. I also thought that each story was touched with a bit of melancholy and an undercurrent of sadness infuses them. But don¿t get the wrong idea; the book is still delightful and a joy to read. Each of the three different stories has a different art style befitting the story.
tiamatq on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gene Luen Yanga brings us three stories about fantasy, reality, and the way we think and dream about both. The first story looks at a young man named Duncan, serving in a medieval court and trying to win the heart of the princess. When he sets out to fight the Frog King, he discovers a mysterious bottle labeled Snappy Cola, and suddenly everything in the kingdom seems out of place.Then there's Gran'pa Greenbax, a greedy frog with an insatiable desire for a bottomless pool of gold (sounds like a certain old duck, hmmm?). His latest profitable adventure has led him, his assistance, and his twin nieces, to the Eternal Smile, a grin that's always hovering in the sky. And finally there's Janet, a woman that no one ever notices. She's been working the same nine-to-five job for seven years. When things are at their most dreary, she gets an email from a Nigerian prince who needs her help saving his family fortune... if only she'll give him her bank account information, she'll be rewarded beyond her wildest dreams.These stories may appear to be fluffy and aimed at younger readers, but each deals with heavy issues (abuse, self-confidence, greed, and faith). The Gran'pa Greenbax story may be the most disturbing of them - though besides borrowing from Uncle Scrooge, it made me think of those Looney Tunes cartoons where the animator is able to reach into the animation cell and mess with things. Overall, these are uplifting stories about how we reconcile our fantasies with our real lives.
cassiusclay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Personal Response:I enjoyed these stories greatly. The overall theme of the book is to be true to yourself. Each story establishes this idea in its own unique way. The stories display to the reader that fantasy isn't always better than reality, being true to yourself is more valuable than money, and sometimes we should let ourselves escape for awhile. These stories are very easy to relate to and would be excellent for any teen reader who has felt that sometimes they wish they were somewhere else. Curricular Connections:I could see these stories being excellent to serve the purpose of displaying the importance of self-esteem, especially the final story.
59Square on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautiful and literary, this book of short stories features stunning artwork, beautifully colored; however, the stories themselves seem a little obtuse for teen audiences. The title piece "Gran'pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile" is the strongest of the collection, and pays clever homage to the Scrooge McDuck comics by Carl Banks. However, it's hard to imagine a modern teen appreciating the tribute. It is the first story "Duncan's Kingdom" which will have the most resonance for teens, as a young man decides to trade fantasy for reality. This is a book that strikes me as a comic for people who don't really like comics, and one that comics fans can point to when singing the virtues of the format. While this book will probably win awards, it's hard to imagine a teen picking it up.
eduscapes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim is a graphic novel told in three stories. Each story weaves fantasy and reality in humorous ways. The illustrations as well as the stories are outstanding. The book is appropriate for all ages.
kivarson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Heartbreakingly beautiful. Yang and Kim have given us three short stories that explore the universal themes of fear and desire behind our need to create rich fantasy worlds. The artwork is strong--especially the watercolor panels of "Urgent Request", which ache with imagined joy and sunshine.
mhg123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From two masters of the graphic novel--Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and Derek Kirk Kim (Same Difference and Other Stories) come fantastical adventures through the worlds we live in and the worlds we create: the story of a prince who defeats his greatest enemy only to discover that maybe his world is not what it had seemed; the story of a frog who finds that just being a frog might be the way to go; and the story of a woman who receives an email from Prince Henry of Nigeria asking for a loan to help save his family. With vivid artwork and moving writing, Derek Kirk Kim and Gene Luen Yang test the boundaries between fantasy and reality, exploring the ways that the world of the imagination can affect real life.
welkinscheek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
We¿ve all delved into fantasy from time to time to escape our monotonous and difficult lives, some of us more than others. A lot more. We¿re lucky that Kim and Yang rank among those who maybe hang out in their heads just a tad too much, and are tickled enough by what they find there to share it with the rest of us. The Eternal Smile is a great escape from the daily grind, but does more than provide a way out, it also opens doors to the great and mysterious within. These three stories depict people in various forms and stages of anthropomorphization (Hey, I made up a word!) coping (or not coping) with life by escaping into fantasy. These are familiar stories (a knight destroys evil to become eligible to marry a princess; a greedy boss thinks his avarice will bring him peace and fulfillment; a dowdy office worker falls for an Internet scam), but with surprising twists, reminding readers that these stories are metaphors, and if you¿re brave enough to look deeper, you¿ll find beautiful and frightening truths.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Three short stories by Gene Luen Yand and Derek Kirk Kim. The first is the fantasy of a teenager. The second tells of a frog named granpa greenbax who is fixated on collecting gold. The last story is of a quiet young lady who forms an e-mail correspondence with a man claiming to be a Nigerian prince.
wortklauberlein on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pays homage to cartooning -- particularly Gran'pa Greenbax, with nods to Disney and his Scrooge McDuck plus Daddy Warbucks -- while engaging in an intricate exploration of the intersections of dreams and reality. Each of the three stories in the book employs a different visual style, yet each revolves around the use of fantasy as a door out of -- and back into -- an unbearable world. Remarkably free of sentimentality and rich in intellectual content, it employs many of the tropes of fiction to make something wholly original.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book of short stories is an adult title with crossover appeal to teens. Yang shows us here that he has a taste for the strange. In these three stories Yang has taken a person's reality and turned it into a fantasy or turned their fantasy into reality, making for stories that end with the infamous twist. I enjoyed all three very much; they were each enjoyable and unusual, as well as making one think about the good or bad consequences of living in a fantasy world and avoiding your own reality. The illustrations are all wonderful. Kim has used different styles for each story to match the theme and mood. The second story has actually been done in the style of an old comic book (one of those "Gold Key" comics from the seventies) complete with fake ads. Very well done book. Recommended.
kperry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Creators of AMERICAN BORN CHINESE are back again with another interesting graphic novel called THE ETERNAL SMILE. THE ETERNAL SMILE contains three completely separate stories, unlike in AMERICAN BORN CHINESE where the three stories came together in the end. The one thing these stories do have in common is the theme and would generate great discussion in the classroom.The first story, ¿Duncan¿s Kingdom,¿ centers around a young knight in the royal guard of a magical kingdom. After slaying the Frog King in order to win the hand of the beautiful princess, Duncan realizes his life isn¿t what he thought it was.¿The Eternal Smile¿ is the second story in the book. Gran¿pa Greenbax, a greedy old frog, will stop at nothing to achieve his goal of owning enough gold to fill a pool. He wants enough gold so that when he dives in the pool he can¿t reach the bottom. When he runs out of new ventures he turns to religion in attempt to manipulate people out of their money. Gran¿pa Greenbax, after a violent outburst, is taken from his world and told the truth about his existence and finally discovers the reason he has been in search of enough gold to fill a pool.The final story, ¿Urgent Request,¿ revolves around a lonely computer tech employee named Janet Oh. After being turned down for a promotion at work, she feels like her life is going nowhere until she receives an email from Prince Henry Alembu of the Royal Family of Nigeria. He asks her for money to help his family escape the political unrest in his country and in return will transfer $350,000,000 to her bank account as soon as he and his family are safe. Janet Oh agrees to help and in doing so, changes her life for the better.I enjoyed AMERICAN BORN CHINESE much better, but I¿ve found that the more I sit and think about THE ETERNAL SMILE, the more I like it. It might just be one of those books that grows on you. The artwork is great! LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover and the variety of the work between the three stories. Derek Kirk Kim definitely has talent!What do you guys think? Have you read it yet and if so, did you like it as much as you liked AMERICAN BORN CHINESE?