Monday, June 26, 2017

The importance of Gene Luen Yang

After watching 55 days at Peking... especially when the plot followed history in an extremely selective manner I realized how important Gene Luen Yang's Boxers and Saints is.  I mean they have read it already last year.... but having seen 55 Days.... I realized that I need to buy these books.

Looking at Gene Luen Yang's site, I was reminded of all the other work he has done and realized I NEED all his work not only because of cultural heritage and perspective and all that.... but because my kids would actually read this stuff on their own.

Watching Gene's Ted talk about comics in the classroom (on that site) I realized that Gene is an educator... and 55 days was made by Hollywood. It wasn't just that 55 days was skewed, because I think they were actually trying to be fair and balanced.... because there was a lot of bad things that the Boxers did that the movie really doesn't show. Although Gene's book that covers the Boxers shows a Boxer as the main Character (the other one shows a Chinese Christian as the main character) he still shows atrocities in an extremely violent way that 55 days did not.

Because Gene is an educator he did care about the actual historical events and context and manages to put all of that info into a fairly small and entertaining comic book, while 55 days honestly takes forever to get to the point of the movie and then glosses over the real substance of the event, instead relying on Hollywood formula's (which to be fair are probably the best parts of the movie.)

55 Days is an old movie but it isn't irrelevant because most of how mainstream it is, how unracistly racist it is. Or at least culturalist... because in a way, the movie is pro Chinese race and anti boxer and government.

It is the mainstream propoganda that benignly seeps into our children's minds and takes root there that is more dangerous than someone yelling and screaming racial slurs. And shouting is really not the way to go about it. Shouting at the mainstream is probably more innefective... but CHANGING the mainstream.


Look at Gene's site... his works include SUPERMAN! I knew this... but I forgot it and I also didn't see how much thought he put into his work.

He has Avatar. He has a Chinese American superhero in a 1930's Chinatown called Shadow warrior. But again most importantly, his work is entertaining. So the kids will read it.

Secret Coders would be a great thing for Grace's idea of Kung Fu and Coding. In fact, if I had a brick and Mortar Kung Fu school I would buy all of Gene's books and make them required reading.


It is amazing how much media is out there now that we can use and hold up and support that is EXCELLENT in terms of quality and in terms of reaching the masses.
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