A Night at the Central Library

It was quite odd being in downtown Los Angeles during rush hour traffic as people started heading home. Luckily, I wasn’t driving at the time nor was I occupied in a car or bus since traffic was rough on the local streets and highways. Instead, I was on the local commute train routing from the Metro Gold line and jumping onto the underground rail lines.

Why was I headed into downtown while everyone else was leaving it? Simple: I wanted to check out an event that was featuring Joe Sacco and Gene Luen Yang in Making History Graphic, part of the Aloud program hosted by the Los Angeles Public Library.

Inside the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Central Library.
Inside the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Central Library.

I admit that I’m a fan of Gene Luen Yang’s work since I’ve read American Born Chinese. Ever since I’ve read that book I was instantly hooked and read others by him, naming a few: Level up and Animal Crackers. His works are enjoyable and it brings me back to a more innocent and carefree time. And hearing that he’s going to present an event in the library and on a topic that seems relatively relevant to a narrative, I was practically determined to arrange a way to support and attend the event.

Gene Luen Yang signing autographs for readers and fans alike!
Gene Luen Yang signing autographs for readers and fans alike!

To make a long story short, it was a pleasure meeting Gene Yang and it was quite a privilege for me to speak to him for a brief moment. And it was a treat listening to Yang and his co-star partner in the program, Joe Sacco discuss about their depiction of their approach to the graphic novel. Sacco has a background understanding of journalism, and makes the depictions of World War I’s reality in his drawings, while Yang’s work uses a historic fiction approach. It was almost as if the program was designed to depict the Ying and Yang, or the possible opposite from each of these men’s work to an audience that have a novice, intermediate, or far advance understanding of the graphic or comic book storytelling medium.

Next Post up: Thurs., Nov. 21

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