24 September 2011

Two fantastic events this upcoming week:

First, I'll be flying down to Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina for a whirlwind three-day VIETNAMERICA residency! It includes class visits, a salon for Davidson College Friends of the Arts, and a free and open to the public talk on Tuesday 27th. I'm honored and excited for this amazing opportunity so if you're in the hood, please considering joining us—all the relevant deets here. I haven't been back to the Carolina's since leaving in 1988, so I'm incredibly grateful to be returning to my roots with VIETNAMERICA, figuratively and literally!

Second, on Wednesday 28th I'll be at Brooklyn's Greenlight Bookstore for a discussion with NY Times bestselling author Monique Truong to celebrate her paperback release of BITTER IN THE MOUTH. Since I'll have just returned from her home state North Carolina—also where her novel is set—my questions will be extra heavy on the gravy and deep fried goodness. If you'd like to meet an amazing author who was raised Vietnamese in the south and honed in Brooklyn (referring to Monique, not myself), c'mon out and join the party. It'll be her only local appearance before kicking off her Left Coast tour, and as an extra bonus: she's baking cookies!

And when I get back, I'll post the finished version of this sucker:

14 September 2011

Bringing comics to the masses!

This Sunday is the Brooklyn Book Festival, a wonderful celebration of literature in the heart of my hood, free to the public, and in which comics play a big role:

"This year, comic-book creators will be featured throughout the Festival in a unique programming design. Artists will join novelists and journalists on diverse panels, respecting comics as an innovative medium across genres, sparking dialogue, and reaching audience members new to the form. Plus a special band of comics-centered panels on the St. Francis indoor stage will include screen projections. These events will be must-see for the comics community. Although we know comics aren’t just for kids, they won’t be left out, either. On the Youth Stoop, artists will battle in a draw-off, and young adults can participate in a workshop to develop their own strips."

I'll be part of the 4 pm "Drawing From Life" panel with Lauren Redniss and Dean Haspiel, moderated by Hillary Chute. It's in the St. Francis Screening Room so c'mon by!

Tuesday night I'll be on the "Beyond the Funny Pages: Comics, Culture and Communication" panel at NYU's A/P/A Institute. It marks the opening of the "Marvels & Monsters" exhibit and celebrates the beginning of the prolific Larry Hama's artist residency.

Other panelists include Christine Norrie, Greg Pak, Tak Toyoshima, and Jeff Yang. This is gonna be an awesome night so RSVP to join the fun. (Everyone gets in regardless of RSVP'ing, but it helps them plan logistics if you do)

Literally the next morning after my previous post, this arrived in the mail:

And while I was immersed in all-things comics last weekend, this VIETNAMERICA piece ran on The Washington Post! Thanks to Winyan Soo Hoo for transforming an earlier interview into a great spotlight. After a relatively calm August, the book is ramping up again so more great events to announce in the next post. But for now, back to work...

08 September 2011

SPX-cited? Yes, very much so.

Calling all comics and art aficionados: one of my most favorite shows of the entire year is this weekend in Bethesda, Maryland: Small Press Expo!

I'm super psyched to be exhibiting with VIETNAMERICA so come on by table F8. Judging by the small amount remaining, this will be the penultimate show where the special edition poster comic/book jacket (that I've been giving away free all year with each copy sold) will be available:

Even more exciting, I'll be on a panel with the amazing Jessica Abel, Sarah Glidden, and Marguerite Dabaie called "Stories of Cultural Identity" on Saturday, 3:30-4:30.

In big international news, yesterday marked the release of VIETNAMERICA's French edition from STEINKIS:

I'm very anxious to see how they solved sections/aspects of the book that might be a bit problematic in translation. According to my publisher, it's received some nice early press and reviews... parlez-vous Francais, anyone?

As for recent praise for the book in a language I do understand, ginormous thanks to KIRKUS REVIEW'S Clayton Moore for selecting it as one of the "12 Can't-Miss Graphic Novels of 2011." And over at YALSA, Marie Penny nominates it for their Alex Award:

"Vietnamerica is no ordinary graphic novel, GB Tran transcends the genre with his storytelling and stellar artistry... It is both heartbreaking and illuminating."

YALSA has also included it in their Reader's Choice nominations for nonfiction. I'm honored for both these recognitions, and would be extremely grateful to any and everyone eligible to vote to please do so!

Last, but certainly not least, I'd like to take a break from all-things VIETNAMERICA to bring attention to the Catalyst Foundation. I recently learned of their tireless work when they invited me to participate in their annual summer Culture Camp. Their current project is building a safe house for adolescent Vietnamese girls who escape lives of forced prostitution, but who can't return home because their parents are the ones who sold them to the brothels in the first place. Catalyst's co-founder and executive director Caroline Nguyen Ticarro-Parker is an inspiring mix of hope, tenderness, and no-nonsense determination, so if you can spare the click of a button, please "like" their Facebook page.