All artwork © copyright 2016 Gia-Bao Tran. Please do not use without permission.


A Family's Journey

288-Page Hardcover
Book trailer by Joe Tomcho

Vietnamerica is what happens when I realized to better understand myself, I needed to first better understand my parents. It’s the 50-year journey of my family’s trauma, tragedy, and triumph through Vietnam’s wars, and reinvention in its aftermath as refugees in the United States. It’s the unraveling of my family’s truth and what’s uncovered when I draw my past to write my future.

Top 10 Graphic Memoirs of All Time
– Time Entertainment –

Gold Medal in Sequential Art
– Society of Illustrators –

Gregory M. Nonfiction Literature Fellowship
– New York Foundation for the Arts –

Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2011
– Library Journal –

Best Books of 2011
– School Library Journal –

Best Reality Based Work Nomination
– Eisner Awards –

Beyond storytelling, Tran is an artist truly gifted in his medium.
Washington Post

A kick-in-the-gut graphic novel... Engaging, challenging, and disturbing, Tran's family memoir belongs in all public and academic libraries...
Library Journal Starred Review

In Tran's memoir, theme, narrative, and art work together to create a deeply compelling graphic novel... His artwork–richly detailed but never overcrowded–realistic while allowing for abstraction, and expertly composed–wrings meaning out of the smallest detail.
School Library Journal

Vietnamerica is an utterly remarkable piece of American literature. If you have ever felt a connection to the immigrant experience, if you are born of a generation that benefited from the bruises and blood of the one that came before, then this memoir will resonate as literature rarely does.

Atmospheric and evocative, sometimes kaleidoscopic to the point of psychedelia in its construction and formal invention.
Warren Ellis

Writer of Transmetropolitan and Planetary.

GB channels Will Eisner, other times Joe Sacco and Art Spiegelman, but always making it uniquely himself. Like David Mazzucchelli's Asterios Polyp, Vietnamerica asks a lot from the reader, but to me that exemplifies what comics at their best can achieve...
Josh Neufeld

Cartoonist of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge.


A catalog of mistakes and lessons learned, and gift to my kids for when they're grown up enough to be embarrassed by their dad. Volume 1 chronicles our first pregnancy and can be read free at with new weekly comic strips returning soon.


Selected self published comics, anthology contributions, handmade minis, and more.


After a 2015 hiatus due to personal events, I’m very excited to be traveling again in a limited capacity. I participate in an array of artist/author events ranging from university wide public talks to intimate classroom workshops. These most often involve Vietnamerica as a launching pad to explore universal themes of legacy, immigration, and war, as well as broader topics like memoir, multiculturalism, and the medium of comics.

This opportunity to engage and connect with communities continues to be one of my greatest unexpected joys from comics. If you’re interested in hosting a visit or having me at your event, I’d love to hear from you!

Brown University

University of Texas
APRIL 18-19 | TYLER | TX

Civitella Ranieri

I won’t be scheduling any Fall events so that I may be a fellow at the phenomenal Civitella Ranieri. Extremely honored and grateful to be selected to spend five weeks living in a 16th century castle in a beautiful place to finish and begin projects that have been on my creative back burner far too long. Photo © copyright 2011 Francesco Capponi.

California College of the Arts / CA / Jul
Stanford / CA / Oct
University of Buffalo / NY / Nov
University of Michigan / MI / Nov

UC Santa Barbara / CA / Jan
Stanford / CA / Jan
Grand Valley State University / MI / Feb
Boston College / MA / Mar
New York University / NY / Apr
Henderson State University / AR / Apr
Hendrix College / AR / Apr
Arkansas Literary Festival / AR / Apr
University of Arizona / AZ / Apr

University of Illinois / IL / Feb
Purdue University / IN / Feb
Asian Pacific American Institute / NY / Apr
NYC Asian American Student Conference / NY / Apr
San Diego Comic-con / CA / Jul
Davidson College / NC / Sep
University of Oregon / OR / Oct
University of Connecticut / CT / Oct

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art / NY / Jan
Tisch School / NY / Mar
Toronto Comic Arts Festival / ON / May
Reuters AAHM / NY / May
Locust Moon / PA / May
Humanities Prep Academy / NY / Jun
NYC Educators Author Event / NY / Jun
Culture Camp / NY / Jul
Union of North American Vietnamese Student Assn / CO / Jul
Small Press Expo / MD / Sep
Brooklyn Book Festival / NY / Sep
Asian Pacific American Institute / NY /Sep
Davidson College / NC / Sep
School of Visual Arts / NY / Oct
Parsons / NY / Nov
University of Illinois at Chicago / IL / Nov
National Council of Teachers of English / IL / Nov
Monroe Community College / NY / Dec
Mercer Gallery / NY / Dec



2016 Graduate Viewbook Excerpt

MFA in Comics

In addition to cartooning and speaking, I'm faculty on CCA's three-summer, low-residency program. During the semesters, I mentor the second year cartoonists and in the Summer, teach the Publication Design, Production and Pitch Packaging course where I bring eclectic approaches, process, and Adobe CC instruction from my job as a graphic designer and cartoonist into the classroom.


I was born in South Carolina, raised in Arizona, became a professional in Brooklyn, and am now a grown up in the Bay Area. I balance all the above with an apparel graphic design job at this fun company and being a husband and dad of two. I occasionally sleep.

If you'd like to hear more about me:

After the Jump APA Compass Inkstuds Primary Source Pro-T.I.P.s Voice of America

All artwork © copyright 2016 Gia-Bao Tran. Please do not use without permission. Artist Visits photo © copyright 2016 Davidson College.

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