Cartoonist Gene Luen Yang Receives MacArthur Genius Grant
The MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, often referred to as the "MacArthur Genius Grant" is one of the highest honors a person can achieve in recognition of creativity in their field. It is awarded to scientists, artists, community leaders, and other exceptional individuals who display “originality, insight and potential”. Yesterday, the recipients of the 2016 MacArthur Fellowship were announced and among them was cartoonist Gene Luen Yang.
Speaking to the LA Times about the MacArthur Fellowship, Yang noted that he was in --- of all places --- a Panera Bread when he received the news of his win, and that he intends to use the resources provided to him by the Fellowship to help his children, his career and his community. Yang is also the National Ambassador for Young people’s Literature through the Library of Congress and says he plans to use these resources to achieve more before his term ends next year.
The MacArthur Foundation Fellowship consists of a grant of $625,000 distributed over five years that the recipient can use however they please. Previous recipients of the fellowship include Fun Home author Alison Bechdel and Black Panther writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who received the grant in 2015 for his work as a journalist and author. The complete list of this year's recipients can be found at the MacArthur Foundation website.
Gene Luen Yang rose to prominence with comics such as Animal Crackers and American Born Chinese. He later worked on comics within the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise, and currently writes New Super-Man for DC Comics. He is also working on his next original graphic novel Dragon Hoops, which is due out in 2018 from First Second.