"Godfather of the Graphic Novel"
My love for creating and entrepreneurism began when I was 15 years old. In 1970, my dad took my sister and me to the first-ever comic convention (now known as Comicon) in San Diego, CA.
I met world-famous authors and artists like Ray Bradbury, who is known for his works in modern science-fiction (Fahrenheit 451), and Jack Kirby, creator of Marvel Universe and superheros like Fantastic Four, X-Men, and the Hulk. These "creators" shared their stories of determination, struggle and success, which inspired me to take my future and run with it.
Beginning at age 16, I started my own publishing company called Eastwind Studios, where I wrote and published one of the first modern American graphic novels, called Even Cazco Gets the Blues. I have authored and co-authored over 80 comic books and graphic novels. I also started a free magazine still in publication today called, Uncle Jam, which features in-depth interviews with world-renowned artists, entrepreneurs, and authors.
Promoting Literacy has always been the key point of my message to people all over the world. I have been invited to 49 states and 17 countries to share what I have learned. I strive to teach people how to think big, generate ideas, get excited about reading, and to know one's individual worth and capability. We are a people vastly different in talents and interests. My goal is to get people to take action on their ideas and reap the benefits of thier hard work and dedication. The world needs more "creators" from today's generations in all fields of study and practice.
Cartoonists Across America has crossed North America more than 200 times, painting more than 2000 colorful literacy murals in 49 states and 3 Canadian provinces (not to mention a huge mural in Budapest, Hungary in August 1990 that resulted in a dinosaur postage stamp celebrating the United Nations Year of Literacy). We have had many guest artists paint with us from Teenage Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman to actor Alan Alda. Former First Lady Barbara Bush painted a mural with us in the Library of Congress and later Mrs. Bush honored Phil in the White House for his work.
Phil has appeared as a guest all over the United States as well as in 16 countries. He has been a guest for over 40 years at Book Expo America and San Diego Comic Con. He was a guest for 10 years at Conque in Mexico City, and for several years at the Latino Family Book Festival in several U.S. cities and at NorWesCon in Seattle, USA.
A few of his many other guest appearances:
1990 The First International Hungarian Cartoon Festival in Budapest, Hungary
1995 The Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy
1996 Children’s Book Fair in Beijing China
1997 The World Book Fair in Singapore
1998 The World Book Fair in Singapore
1998 Taipai Book Fair in Taiwan
2001 Cayman Islands, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
2002 Frankfurt Book Fair
2007 Third Annual Cartoon and Animation Festival in Hangzhou China
2009 Speaker at the Charlotte Huck Children's Literature Festival at the
University of Redlands
2008 Frankfurt Book Fair
2010 Workshop for the Book Council in Singapore Guest at STGCC in Singapore
Spoke at Cyberjaya University and two art schools in Kuala Lumpur
2011 Guest of honor and opening speaker at the first FestiComics in Haifa, Israel
2015 Guest in Denmark to paint 2 murals with students in Ry, Denmark
Phil Yeh Bio
Phil Yeh was born on October 7, 1954 in Chicago. He started drawing and writing his own comic books in elementary school and formed his own publishing company in 1970, after attending the first San Diego Comic-Con.
In 1973, Yeh and partner Mark Eliot started their own alternative newspaper called which featured a first issue cover by Roberta Gregory, a fellow student at Cal State University Long Beach. The paper featured interviews, full color covers, and articles on many noted comic book and science fiction masters including; Harvey Kurtzman, Jean “Moebius” Giraud, Alfredo Alcala, Wendy Pini, Philip K. Dick, Linda Barry, Sergio Aragones, Kelly Freas, and Rick Griffin.
Yeh was the first journalist to interview Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel in 1975 about the injustices both he and artist Joe Shuster suffered for many decades. That article led to national media coverage and a settlement at that time with Yeh working on the West Coast and Jerry Robinson and Neal Adams on the East Coast.
In 1977, Yeh wrote, illustrated, and published one of the first modern American graphic novels with introductions by Golden Age artist Don Rico and Sergio Aragones. He was one of the first publishers of graphic novels to push for acceptance of this art form in general bookstores and libraries.
In 1985, Yeh formed Cartoonists across America & the World to promote literacy, the arts, and creativity using humor and comics. To date the group of artists has painted more than 1800 murals in 49 U.S. states and more than a dozen countries.
In 1989, Yeh was given the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award by the San Diego Comic-Con and in 2009 received an Ink Pot Award at the San Diego Con. In 1990, the Hungarian Government issued a postage stamp with Yeh’s “Read. Avoid Extinction” dinosaurs in honor of the United Nations Year of Literacy. In 1991, Yeh’s oil paintings were featured in “Theo the Dinosaur”, which debuted at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. with introductions by Barbara Bush and Nigel Seale, chairperson of Earth Day International.
In 1993, Yeh’s wordless graphic novel “The Winged Tiger” with illustrated introductions by Wendy Pini and Jean Giraud was published as a weapon in the global fight against illiteracy. It was named one of the top 25 graphic novels in print.
In 2007, NBM issued a full color hardcover graphic novel of “Dinosaurs Across America”.
The 2008 edition was picked as one of the top 25 graphic novels by “School Library Journal”
and was a Children’s Choice Award winner by the Children’s Book Council
and the International Reading Association.
Phil has published more than 90 book and comics. They are fun and educational.
His Winged Tiger series of comics includes guest artists who tell the reader how
they get their creative ideas. Most of his books have some geography and history
in the content, as well.
(above) : A poster done for the Cartoon & Animation Festival in Hangzhou, China
The Early Days
Influenced by "Creators"
(above) left to right: Wee Pals creator, Morrie Turner; MAD Magazine and GROO creator Sergio Aragones; Snoopy's creator, the late great Charles Schulz; and Winged Tiger's Phil Yeh
Left to right: CAA European Vice-President Klaus Leven, Phil Yeh, Edward James Olmos, Steve Allen, and Dr. Fred Kort at the presentation of the first Alphie Awards.
(left) Phil Yeh and French artist Moebius, who drew an introduction for Phil's book The Winged Tiger.
Honored at The White House
Focus on Literacy
(above) left to right: Richard Dinges, Phil Yeh, Barbara Bush, MB Roberts, Louise King
This mural promoting literacy was painted by Cartoonists Across America and the World inside The Library of Congress with help from Former First Lady Barbara Bush in 1989. We returned to the capitol in 1994 to paint a 53' foot semi-truck infront of the Library of Congress (right).
Friends with a Legacy