Sharon's Reviews > The Eternal Smile: Three Stories

The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang
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's review
Jul 17, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novels, american, male-author

Doesn't have the depth of Yang's _American Born Chinese_, a hard act to follow, but it does have some of the zaniness and some of the sweetness. The three stories have markedly different artwork styles, but all three deal with yearning for a different life. The first story, "Duncan's Kingdom" is an adventure / romance about a boy who wants to win the princess' hand by killing the frog king. Lots of good twists and good art. The second story, "The Eternal Smile" didn't grab me as much. It's about greedy frogs in the style of an old kid's comic and the art work is suitably garish. The third story, "Urgent Request" is much more restrained in terms of both art and narrative. It's about a woman who is unappreciated at work who lets herself fall for the Nigerian Prince email scheme to gain gratitude and romance. The panels in this story look like shots from an old black and white movie, eventually switching to a world of muted colors. There's lots of comfortable white space between the panels unlike the earlier jam-packed panels.

The characters in the second story annoyed me, but I was eager to find out what was going to happen to both Duncan and the sad Janet. The variety of artwork and genres is impressive.

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