• List Price: $17.99
  • Save: $4.49 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 15 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good - Standard used condition book with the text inside being clean and unmarked - Exterior of the book shows moderate signs of usage
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Eternal Smile: Three Stories Paperback – April 28, 2009

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Library Binding
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$10.06 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

The Eternal Smile: Three Stories + Level Up + Boxers & Saints Boxed Set
Price for all three: $49.90

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596431563
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596431560
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description
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].

Prince Duncan goes on a quest to avenge
the king's murder and marry the princess.

Grandpa Greenbax the frog sees what
looks like a smile in the sky and hopes
it will answer his prayers.

Janet's ho-hum life gets interesting
after she receives an email from a
Nigerian prince.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This collaboration between multiple-award winners Yang (American Born Chinese) and Kim (Same Difference and Other Stories) is an eagerly awaited event that actually pays off. Yang writes and Kim illustrates in a medley of different styles united by meticulous detail, almost throwaway beauty and riveting storytelling. All three stories deal with levels of fantasy and how humans use it to escape or transcend everyday tedium and suffering. In Duncan's Kingdom, a fairy tale about a brave youth, beautiful princess and dastardly frog king is played out; the fantasy is so note perfect that the truth of the situation comes as a shock. In The Eternal Smile, Gran'pa Greenbax is an avaricious frog whose moneymaking schemes are first boosted then dashed by the appearance of a mysterious, peaceful smile in the sky. Riffing off classic Disney comic books and evangelical clichés, it's a sharp satire far more complex than it first appears. In Urgent Request, Janet, a schlumpy drone at a tech company, answer a Nigerian scam e-mail to liven up her drab life. However, her motives are not as they originally appear. Shattering the borders between our real and fantasy lives, these bold, masterfully crafted fables have real staying power. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Gene Luen Yang began making comic books in the fifth grade. He has since written and drawn a number of titles. His 2006 book American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association's Michael L. Printz Award. It also won an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album - New. His 2013 two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints was nominated for both the National Book Award and the LA Times Book Award. Gene currently writes the graphic novel continuation of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Shadow Hero, his recent comic book series with Sonny Liew, revives the Green Turtle, an obscure 1940s character who is arguably the first Asian American superhero. The Shadow Hero is now available as individual digital issues via Amazon Kindle. The print trade paperback collection will be released on July 15, 2014.

Related Media

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 19 customer reviews
Also, the artwork is very well done for all three of the stories (each with a different style).
Although American Born Chinese is also a very good graphic novel and swept many graphic novel awards, The Eternal Smile is truly Gene Luen Yang's magnum opus.
Ethan Dennis
Each story has a few twists and turns and they all have enough emotional impact to make you think after you finish each one.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By GreenBeanTeenQueen on July 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed American Born Chinese when I read it after it won the Printz award, so I was excited when I came across this one at my library. It combines Gene Leun Yang's storytelling with Derek Kirk Kim's artwork (who I know from his Minx comic, Good As Lily). The result is a great collection of short comics that are fun to read.

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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Casey on May 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
A good short story is hard to find. The writer doesn't have a lot of pages to make the reader care about the characters and in these same pages, a complete story also has to be told. There is nothing like finishing a good short story and just getting this great feeling of content. This book collects three short graphic stories that leave me feeling complete and really shows what a great storyteller both these creators are. Each story has a few twists and turns and they all have enough emotional impact to make you think after you finish each one.

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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Fannon on March 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Eternal Smile is a collection of short comics by authors and artists Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and Derek Kirk Kim (Same Difference and Other Stories). The comics follow different characters and even have very different drawing and writing styles, but all have the same theme: nothing is really ever how we perceive it and it only takes one event (or one scene, or one word) to change our world view. All three sections had a lovely twist at the end that really solidified the strength of these stories.

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 ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
As graphic novels continue to grow in popularity and respectability, Gene Yang, author of 2007's award-winning American Born Chinese returns with a collection of three short stories that explore the worlds of fantasy and escapism and the inevitable clash between what is and what we wish to be

Derek Kirk Kim's illustrations are used to great effect in the three stories, as he alternates between a realistic, muted adventure style for the first story, "Duncan's Kingdom." He uses a brightly colored cartoon style for the second story, "Gran'pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile," and uses a tiny-paneled, minimalist style for the concluding story, "Urgent Request." The graphic novel makes use of its format well, as the first two stories use panels of varying sizes, including full-page panels, to great effect. The final story is printed on cream-colored paper, and its panels are smaller and borderless, arranged on the page in a less rigid and informal layout.

The first story, "Duncan's Kingdom," begins with what seems like a typical knight-in-shining armor story. However, the image of a modern-day woman, seated at a table with a bottle of soda pop, breaks the tale's tone and introduces the first hint of the story's conflict. The second story, "Gran'pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile," is at first a parody of the Disney character Scrooge McDuck. The very greedy Gran'pa's plans to capitalize from a mysterious smile in the golden sky takes an unexpected turn of events. "Urgent Request," the book's final story, perhaps its most moving, tells about a corporate drone named Janet, whose drab existence and miniscule self-worth is reflected in the beautifully minimal art of illustrator Kim. After being refused a promotion, she receives urgent news, via email, from a Nigerian prince.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?