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The Eternal Smile: Three Stories by Gene…

The Eternal Smile: Three Stories

by Gene Luen Yang

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three stories about things not being what they seem. These stories did not connect well with me. Oh, well. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
This is a cute collection of stories - I'm a fan of Yang's work and at this point I'll read anything he write (and draws). There's three stories in this little graphic novel.

The first is about a boy dealing with his life's problems by acting as a hero in a fantasy world he's imagined. There was a little twist at the end and I enjoyed this story the most out of the three.

The second is a Truman Show style TV series about a money grubbing frog who tries to make money off a newly founded religion of sorts. Yes, that sounds bizarre, and it was, but the story and its moral made sense. I liked the illustrations the best in this one - they were adorable!

The third story is about a shy, introverted girl who can't get a promotion at work. One day she gets a spam email from a price in Nigeria needing her money in exchange for hundreds of thousands to be paid to her at a later date and she decides to respond and help him out. I didn't enjoy this tale as much - I get the overall message (I think) but really, who would seriously respond to one of those emails? I didn't understand her character motivation enough to understand why she would give all her money to a stranger on the internet.

Overall it's a cute collection and if you're already a fan of Yang's work it's definitely something you should at least read, if not own. ( )
  MillieHennessy | May 12, 2015 |
Gene Yang and Derek Kirk Kim together, what more to say? 3 excellent stories, with different art styles and an interesting personal twist. ( )
  blurble | Jun 1, 2014 |
I'd enjoyed ABC by Yang and never read anything by Kim. The short stories seem all to be themed around loss and disconnect. Not loss in the sense of losing something or someone, but loss of purpose or will. There is a certain quality of desperation in the stories. In the first story this becomes evident about two thirds of the way, in the second one at the very very end, and the third one is dripping of desperation from beginning to end. The stories explore a wide range of subjects from evangelism/exploitation to internet fraud (sounds hard to believe, when i put it that way) but they are very human, very real, and sad. But they all manage to end in a bit of an up note, which is refreshing. The art work is exceptional, which surprised me, because I usually do not like the super colorful, computer-generated look. But the drawings of humans as well as non-human characters is exceptional. The last story certainly stands out in terms of the art work, with most panels drawn in dreary grays like black and white etchings.
All in all, a good small collection of stories which will surprise as you read. ( )
  bluepigeon | Dec 15, 2013 |
Summary: This book is a collection of three stories, each addressing places where the line between fantasy and reality gets blurry. In "Duncan's Kingdom", Duncan is a knight and the hero of the kingdom, but he can't shake the feeling that there's something he's not being told. In "Gran'pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile", Gran'pa Greenbax is a money-loving frog who seeks to capitalize on a mysterious smile that appears floating in the sky. In "Urgent Request", Janet is lonely and unappreciated, but when she receives an e-mail from a Nigerian prince requesting her help, she decides to respond and see what happens.

Review: I liked these stories a lot. "Gran'pa Greenbax" was my least favorite; it was over-the-top in terms of the dialog and the artwork, and even though all of the over-the-top-ness did have a point, it was enough initially to put me off of the story. I liked "Urgent Request" quite a bit; the artwork was totally gorgeous and it was great to watch Janet come to terms with herself and her situation (But it wasn't a "Girl Power!" type of thing; it maintained a little haunting note of melancholy underneath it all.) But I think "Duncan's Kingdom" was my favorite, maybe because it was a more traditional type of fantasy, but I think because it packed the biggest emotional punch. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: This is one of those graphic novels that I think has something to appeal to almost everyone who likes graphic novels, and maybe something to entice those that haven't tried one before. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Nov 22, 2013 |
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"Meet Duncan. Charming and brave, he's the Princess's favorite-- and he's on his way to winning the throne. But lately, the walls of reality in Duncan's kingdom are wearing a little thin-- -- Meet Gran'pa Greenbax. Nothing seems to satisfy this greedy old frog's longing for a pool full of gold-- until, one day, a mysterious smile appears in the sky. Has his chance at happiness come at last? -- Meet Janet. Her nine-to-five life takes a turn for the romantic when she learns in an email from a mysterious Nigerian prince that she has been chosen to liberate his family's vast fortune. All he needs is her banking information. In three very different stories, master storytellers Gene Yang and Derek Kirk Kim pit fantasy against reality, for good or for ill" -- cover leaf.… (more)

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