Graphic Novel Review: The Eternal Smile: Three Stories

Graphic Novel Review: The Eternal Smile: Three StoriesThe Eternal Smile: Three Stories by Gene Luen Yang
Published by First Second on April 27th 2009
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 170
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Meet Duncan.

Charming and brave, he's the Princess's favorite--and he's on his way to winning the throne. But lately, the walls of reality in Duncan's kingdom are wearing a little thin...

Meet Gran'pa Greenbax.

Nothing seems to satisfy this greedy old frog's longing for a pool full of gold--until, one day, a mysterious smile appears in the sky. Has his chance at happiness come at last?

Meet Janet. 

Her nine-to-five life takes a turn for the romantic when she learns in an email from a mysterious Nigerian prince that she has been chosen to liberate his family's vast fortune. All he needs is her banking information.

In three very different stories, master storytellers Gene Yang and Derek Kirk pit fantasy against reality, for good or for ill. Subtle, surprising, and entirely entertaining, The Eternal Smile delves into our dreams, and the unexpected places they lead.

I love graphic novels and have been meaning to read The Eternal Smile for some time now. I love that it had three separate stories. The first of which is about a boy named Duncan who lives in a fantasy world to escape the cruel truth of reality. Will he decide to stay there or go back to his own real and crummy life and why? I loved the epicness of this story and the mix of fantasy with realism. 

The second story is about Gran'pa Greenbax, who reminds me of Scrooge McDuck, worried about filling his swimming hole with enough gold to satisfy him. He works scheme after scheme to get more money, but when someone comes along talking about the Eternal Smile in the sky that fills them with peace, he must see it for himself. Unfortunately, he decides to profit off of it and it ends up biting him in the butt. 

The last story was by far my favorite, about a lonely girl who lets herself be scammed by a fake email asking for money, pretending to be a prince. She finds out who her prince really is and forces him to play the part. I just loved this story and really felt for Janet, who is a shy girl who just wants to be noticed and loved.

Final Verdict: Overall the stories and graphics in this book transported me into each story and I loved every page and every character.  A must read for fans of graphic novels. 

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3 responses to “Graphic Novel Review: The Eternal Smile: Three Stories

  1. I know close to nothing about graphic novels, but this sounds pretty good. I love the cover and I'm definitely going to buy it. Mostly, I just like the idea of a graphic short story collection; is that very common?

    • There's a couple of different graphic novels that simply are short stories – like Flight and Once Upon a Time Machine. Usually they are done by different authors/illustrators though. 

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