Writer/Artist Gene Luen Yang has been named as a recepient of this year's MacArthur "Genius" Grant. Considered arguably the most prestigious creative grant in the United States, the grant is awarded to "individuals who show originality and dedication in their creative pursuits." Previous comic creators who have won the grant include Alison Bechdel, Ben Katchor, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
"I'm so thankful to be named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow!" said Yang. "To get to follow in the footsteps of such amazing cartoonists and writers as Alison Bechdel, Ben Katchor, Junot Diaz, and Ta-Nehisi Coates is an honor beyond words."
As a MacArthur Fellow, Luen Yang will receive $625,000 in grant money over a five-year period with the intent to provide him with "the flexibility to pursue their own artistic, intellectual, and professional activities in the absence of specific obligations or reporting requirements."
Luen Yang is currently writing DC's New Super-Man title, and in the past has written Action Comics, American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, and Secret Coders, amongst others. Earlier this year Luen Yang was named a National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the U.S. Library of Congress.