Why comics belong in the classroom | Gene Yang | TEDxManhattanBeach

In this funny talk, former instructor and also graphic writer Genetics Yang shares some unexpected insights as well as prompts educators to bring comic books right into the classroom.

A 2016 MacArthur other, Gene Luen Yang began drawing comics in the 5th grade. "American Born Chinese", Yang's initial comic, placed him on the map. A finalist for the National Publication Honor, the book caused a debate over whether comics were

Currently, Gene is composing the middle-grade, computer system programming series Secret Programmers, highlighted by Mike Holmes. Gene is a strong proponent of utilizing comics in education, and of representing variety via the comics tool, which he does in all of his comics work. After speaking up against the lack of diversity in the casting of the Avatar: The Last Airbender film, Yang was asked to compose the Character: The Last Airbender comics, which he does to now, in addition to co-writing Superman for DC Comic Books. Yang is also a starting participant of the Bay Area's Art Evening Staff, a neighborhood team of cartoonists.

This talk was provided at a TEDx occasion utilizing the TED seminar format but separately arranged by a regional neighborhood. Learn more at

28 thoughts on “Why comics belong in the classroom | Gene Yang | TEDxManhattanBeach”

  1. Thank you, Gene, for including Zot! on the spinner rack image. That book, and many of the others you included in your presentation had a profound effect on me.

    Now when is Secret Coders book 2 coming out?

    1. My school allows comics they even have graphic novels in the library but their selection is awful they have like 3 superman books and 1 batman book and a bunch of other ones like amulet but a total of 4 D.C. Books

    1. My teacher allowed me to do my book project on watchmen. He said “it’s one of the best pieces of literature I have read in my life” he had a cabinet in his classroom, and inside it, he had about twenty copies. The way he described watchmen was great for me since I want to make graphic novels myself. He would always encourage me in my pursuit on graphic novels. Beat teacher I’ve ever had.

    2. Watchmen is taught in many English Lit programs. I myself studied it in my Modern Novel course.

    3. Agreed. I think most comic book readers would agree that comic books have become part of our moral compasses as well as a way for us to learn more about things better than textbooks.

    1. If you want to read some of his independent works, I recommend Boxers & Saints, American Born Chinese, and The Shadow Hero.

  2. I finished High School last year, one year and even though nobody did, when we got to choose books to read for projects, comics and graphic novels were completely allowed.

  3. If you are looking for an argument on a research paper, 5:11-5:22 is the perfect spot to look at.

  4. This is my first time hearing him speak. I’m a big fan of his work. Love how nuanced his writing is.

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