Laura Gao is a comic book creator, animator, designer, writer and plenty other things – and a product manager for Twitter living in San Francisco. You can see and read a few of the things she gets up to here. Laura Gao is also from Wuhan in China, a place that lots of people hadn't heard about – and now have. She was going to be flying back home back in January but was warned off by relatives as coronavirus was spreading through the city. She chose not to fly, the day after, Wuhan went into lockdown.
As Wuhan hit all the headlines, in March Laura Gao posted a short comic book, The Wuhan I Know, saying "Wuhan Virus, Chinese Virus, COVID-19. Doesn't matter the name – my hometown will forever be known for that and only that. I drew this comic to shine light on what people don't know: the beautiful culture, rich history, and strong people of Wuhan."
Twitter even turned it into an animation for her.
Well, now Publisher's Weekly reports that Donna Bray of HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired at auction the world English rights to debut an expansion of the Young Adult graphic memoir The Wuhan I Know to be published next summer. The Wuhan I Know is about growing up in two worlds, Texas and Wuhan; struggles with identity; and prejudices underscored by the pandemic. The deal also includes a second graphic novel about a queer girl's many loves.
Laura's agent Brenda Bowen at the Book Group managed the auction and the deal.