Graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang has been named a finalist for the National Book Award for his two volume work, Boxers & Saints, reports Comic Book Resources.
It’s the second such nomination for Yang. In 2006, he was nominated for American Born Chinese. becoming the first graphic novelist to win such a nomination.
Yang recently talked about the influence of other Asian American artists in his work.
In the mid-’90s, a group of cartoonists in the Bay Area started meeting once a week to draw together, talk shop and critique one another’s work. The group included Lark Pien (who colored “Boxers & Saints”), Derek Kirk Kim, Jason Thompson, Jesse Hamm, Ben Catmull, Jesse Reklaw, Jason Shiga, Andrice Arp, Thien Pham and a bunch of others. We called it Art Night. I haven’t gone in years. I think it’s a whole new group these days, but it’s still happening.
You can read the entire interview and find out what inspired Boxers & Saints and read his insights into the characters in his books and the story lines.