Thursday, June 23, 2011


Adrian Tomine

Everyone in Shortcomings is a bit selfish, but none more so than the main character Ben. He doesn't deal well with change, he's complacent and opinionated.

One of the main themes is how Ben views Asian women and White women. He is Japanese American, and so is his girlfriend Miko. She is trying to embrace her culture by supporting a local Asian film festival, but he is running away from anything remotely cliche or sterotypical. Miko accuses him of having a White girl fetish, because he likes to watch porn movies with blonde White girls. He denies it, but when Miko leaves for an internship in New York he immediately hits on a white young girl who works at the same theater as he does. He tries to kiss her and she rebuffs him in a very awkward moment.

Later, manages to have sex with a bi girl he met at a party. He seems to view White women only as recipient of his desires and not as people. Which is how many men view Asian women. When Ben visits Miko in New York he finds out that she's been cheating on him for a while with a White man who loves Asian things. Ben accuses her of being another Asian knick knack, and leaves New York in a huff having learned nothing from the experience.

The art is impossibly beautiful. The characters are really expresive and it's amazing what Adrien Tomine can do with a few inked lines. Enviorments and characters are rendered perfectly in a minimalistic but realistic way. The last sequence in the book is breathtaking and heartbreaking, and worth the whole reading experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment