The Eternal Smile: Three Stories - Gene Luen Yang, Derek Kirk Kim
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?