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A three-part comic anthology by Gene Luen Yang (creator of American Born Chinese) and Derek Kirk Kim, each of the three stories in The Eternal Smile deals with crossing the line between fantasy and reality.
In "Duncan's Kingdom", a young knight named Duncan tries to get revenge for the death of his king and win a princess's hand by slaying the evil Frog King. But Duncan is troubled by recurring dreams about a crying woman, and further troubled by a bizarre, anachronistic artifact found in the Frog King's lair: an empty soda bottle.
"Gran'pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile" is framed around the latest get-rich-quick scheme of cartoon amphibian Gran'pa Greenbax: inspired by a mysterious disembodied smile floating in the sky above a nearby desert, he sets up an evangelical "Church of the Eternal Smile" and tries to make a mint off donations. But his scheme falls apart with less-than-hilarious consequences, and Greenbax makes some unpleasant discoveries about his place in the world...
The third and final story, "Urgent Request", features a put-upon office worker named Janet falling for the infamous "Nigerian royalty" scam. But things take a turn for the weird when her correspondence with "Prince Henry" gives her a surprising boost of confidence... and it only gets weirder when she tracks down and confronts the scammer and demands... a date?
- Amusing Injuries: Deconstructed in "Gran'pa Greenbax", Greenbax is horrified when he ends up killing his long-suffering sidekick Filbert during a session of inflicting Amusing Injuries on him.
- Butt Monkey: Filbert in "Gran'pa Greenbax"
- Captain Ersatz: Gran'pa Greenbax is so obviously Scrooge McDuck it's painful.
- Creepy Twins: Gran'pa Greenbax's granddaughters become this when they get a little too into the Church of the Eternal Smile.
- Daydream Surprise: One several pages long in "Urgent Request".
- 419 Scam
- Mind Screw
- Mr. Alt Disney: Elias McFadden
- Muse Abuse
- Truman Show Plot
- Twist Ending