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The Eternal Smile: Three Stories Paperback – April 28, 2009
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From two masters of the graphic novel--Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and Derek Kirk Kim (Same Difference and Other Stories) come fantastical adventures through the worlds we live in and the worlds we create: the story of a prince who defeats his greatest enemy only to discover that maybe his world is not what it had seemed; the story of a frog who finds that just being a frog might be the way to go; and the story of a woman who receives an email from Prince Henry of Nigeria asking for a loan to help save his family. With vivid artwork and moving writing, Derek Kirk Kim and Gene Luen Yang test the boundaries between fantasy and reality, exploring the ways that the world of the imagination can affect real life.
Three Short Stories from The Eternal Smile
Each pair of panels below belongs to one of the three stories in the book: "Duncan's Kingdom," "Gran'pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile," and "Urgent Request."
Click on each panel to enlarge [pdf].
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
What I really like about Yang's writing is that there's always a little twist that I never see coming, but still totally fits with the story. It works in each one and I'm never disappointed. Kim's artwork stands out and he makes each story have a different feel-you can see samples of the panels on the Amazon page. I love the way everything blended together and each story flowed well with the art.
I enjoyed all three stories and how each one had a deeper story than what first appears on the surface, but my favorite had to be "Urgent Request," the last story in the collection. There was something about Janet that made her a sympathetic character and I really liked how Kim drew her and was able to get her emotions across the page. Her story was bittersweet and I really liked it.
If you need a way to convince someone that graphic novels and comics aren't all about superheroes and cute Japanese girls, give them The Eternal Smile. It's a graphic novel for non-graphic novel fans, and for those who have long enjoyed the format.
Picture talking, money-hungry frogs finding an Eternal Smile in the sky. They try to start a profitable religion, but then things go too far.
Find out what happens if you send that Nigerian Prince your bank account information and keep sending him money.
These were some really odd stories. Not quite what I was expecting. The prince one was interesting, but the ending was a little much. It seemed like there felt there needed to be a resolution, so they just made one. I liked finding out what the Eternal Smile was, but I think that was my least favorite story. I really didn't like the money-hungry frog. I guess the ending of that story was okay though. The third one may have been my favorite. It was a really interesting take on something that all of us have seen or heard of. I mean, everyone has gotten an e-mail from a Nigerian Prince asking for money. I liked how shy and quirky the girl was. She just sent the money no problem. Sometimes you do just need to feel like you're helping someone. This was not my favorite set of stories by this author, but they weren't bad. I loved the different illustrations styles for each of the three stories. It was a fast read, and worth checking out. I just feel like maybe I missed some big purpose in some of the stories.
First Line of each story:
"Frogville USA! Gran'Pa Greenbax watches eagerly as the spoils of his latest profitable adventure pour into his legendary POOL O'CASH!"
"What are you milling around here for?"
"Forgive me, sire, but perhaps it would behoove you to pay attention. This is, after all, your wedding."
"The Angel of Vengeance is ready!"
"You used my money to make genitals for a video game?"
Duncan's Kingdom is about a young soldier who is determined to marry his sweetheart, who just happens to be the princess of the land. When her father, the king, is killed by the Frog King, the princess announces that whoever avenges her father's death with the head of the Frog King will earn her hand in marriage. Duncan, with the help of his adopted guardian The Patchwork Man, goes on a journey to avenge the king. Along the way things are out of place and Duncan begins to question the very foundation of his kingdom. The twist at the end of this story was not necessarily unexpected and I liked it, but I think it was the weakest of the three stories. This is not necessarily a fault of the story, but the other two were so strong.
I thought that Gran'pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile was going to be my least favorite comic. At first I really didn't like it and was going to skip it entirely. I just didn't love the story and thought it was kind of boring and I didn't understand the point. And then I did understand the point and it ended up being my favorite of all. I don't want to give anything away, but if you are reading this and consider giving up the story, don't. I think it's the strongest and most imaginative of the three.Read more ›
Gene Yang's debut book, American Born Chinese, was such a great book. The interwoven stories in that book made it perfect, and I recommend that book to a lot of non-comic fans that want to give comics a try. I believe this book can also be recommended to anyone. The three short stories will appeal to anyone and I don't think it could be told as well in any other format except as a graphic novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a graphic novel in which the notion of, shall we say, "escape from reality", is examined. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Rod G.
Three very different stories that make for an amusing quick read. Can't say I would be overly excited to re-read or recommend them but it was enjoyable and the art was fantastic.Published 14 months ago by Shelli
Posted first at the Fantasy Literature review site.
The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim
I just finished reading The Eternal Smile for a... Read more
The stories were interesting and the illustrations were great. Though I enjoyed American Born Chinese more, this was still a great read!Published 22 months ago by Dan
I found this book tucked away in the school library, and flipping through it, I noticed the unique art in this graphic novel. Read morePublished on September 17, 2012 by Ethan Dennis
Three great, moving short stories. Artwork is fine, though honestly I don't care much about artwork. Plot, theme, and character is what I like; and all 3 stories deliver. Read morePublished on December 17, 2011 by Shagbark
This graphic novel is a collaboration between two masters of the field--Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and Derek Kirk Kim (Same Difference)--with Gene writing wonderful... Read morePublished on September 10, 2011 by Andy Shuping
It took this book some time to arrive. However, it was a great deal at a fair price and the book was as describe. Read morePublished on September 9, 2011 by Daniel B. Rutter
The Eternal Smile consists of three short stories: Duncan's Kingdom, Gran'pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile, and Urgent Request. Read morePublished on December 15, 2010 by Gagewyn