National Book Festival: How new MacArthur ‘genius’ Gene Luen Yang is teaching our kids with comics

September 22, 2016 12:52 PM

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TWO YEARS AGO, Gene Luen Yang made a particular splash at the National Book Festival. He was asked to give a speech at the event’s Friday-night gala, ahead of such literary luminaries as E.L. Doctorow. But Yang had not come to talk about pure prose. He had come to talk comics.

So Yang rose and he spoke about the late cartoonist/animation creator Dwayne McDuffie. Before dying several years earlier at age 49, McDuffie fought to increase diversity both on the page and behind the pen. And Yang spoke about creators giving themselves permission to create rich, diverse characte...

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