Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Shortcomings review by Athena
By Adrian Tomine (2007). A short graphic novella about Ben Tanaka, a cynical antihero Japanese-American. He is not very likable and has quite a few issues which leads to a deteriorating relationship with his long term girlfriend Miko. The novella looks at racial issues, stereotypes, and the breakdown of a relationship. It also touches on the issue of sexual identity, conformity, and fear of change. While Ben is often hypocritical, Miko is not free of hypocrisy or shortcomings either. While their relationship breaks down, they seem to be more sides of the same coin. A realistic portrayal of an ending relationship where both people are not necessarily in the right. The illustration is all in black and white, but poignant in its simplicity. Coupled with good dialogue, the experience is more akin to watching a movie rather than reading a book. A short but reflective graphic novel that is realistic in its portrayal of relationship breakdown. From a longer review over at my blog.