What did I read (and finish) this week? Look below to find out!
Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine (2007) – This was Adrian Tomine’s first long-form graphic novel, which centered around Ben Tanaka, a Japanese-American man in his twenties who has a complicated relationship with his race and the way people perceive it. On the one hand, he claims that there’s no prejudice against Asian-Americans, but on the other he tries to fulfill what he thinks of as the Asian-American male dream: to bang a white woman. The disconnect makes him lose his girlfriend (who’s also Japanese-American), irritate his best friend and her girlfriend (both Asian-American), and spiral. The story is a bit predictable, but I did think the discussion of racial tensions, inferiority complexes, and fetishes was interesting. Tomine’s linework was clean, beautiful, and easy to read, and it made the book a pleasure.
Love and Rockets: New Stories #8 by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez (2016) – This volume contains stories about Fritz and Mila, glimpses into Fritz’ films, the adventures of Princess Animus, and a reunion of Maggie and Hopey. I really liked Jaime’s work and was interested in learning more about Maggie, Hopey, and Princess Animus, but I thought Gilbert’s stories were a little too sexual for me to really enjoy. It made me wish it had just been a Jaime volume.
The Abaddon by Koren Shadmi (2015) – The graphic novel centers around Ter, a fragmented ex-soldier trying to navigate a fractured, hellish apartment. The complex (known as the Abaddon), forces you to relive the same scenes over and over again, often without remembering them. I enjoyed it quite a bit, despite the fact that I did think it was a bit heavy-handed at times. The art is complex and interesting, more than making up for any shortcomings in the writing.