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Gene Luen Yang and the Tales that Shaped 'American Born Chinese'

We chat with the creator about the new series and consider how it reflects the cartoonist he is today.

Gene Luen Yang American Born Chinese

It's not up for debate. American Born Chinese, now streaming on Disney+, is 2023's best comic book adaptation. The streaming series miraculously transforms Gene Luen Yang's iconic graphic novel into something unique without betraying the book's characters or core emotions. You can experience both separately from each other or in conversation with each other; they're doing their own thing.


On this week's episode, Gene Luen Yang joins the show to discuss the adaptation process and how it somewhat represents how he would tackle the material today in sequential form. When he looks back at the cartoonist who produced the comics in 2006, does he recognize him? The answer may surprise you.

We chat about a few significant changes made to the narrative and why they were necessary. We discuss the impact stories have on our lives, and Yang details the specific tales that influenced his creative imagination. A few CBCC favorites delightfully appear.


The American Born Chinese adaptation consumed Gene Luen Yang's attention, distracting him from his many deadlines. He's cooking up a lot of comics at the moment, and he's eager to put new stories out into the universe. We run through a few and predict a couple of our own comic book desires.


Gene Luen Yang, American Born Chinese, and Where to Find Them (and Us).


You can watch American Born Chinese on Disney+ now and purchase the original graphic novel, published by First Second Books, from your local comic book shop.


Be sure to follow Gene Luen Yang on his website, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

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Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

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