Book Review: Shortcomings

Shortcomings

Adrian Tomine

Drawn & Quarterly

104 pages

Ben Tanaka is a your typical twenty something.  He lives with his girlfriend Miko in San Francisco and works as a manager in a move theater.  He is not quite content with his life though.  Miko is doing her best to keep their relationship alive, but Ben is having none of it. He puts no effort into his relationship, yet is suprised when Miko decides to move to New York for film school.

Although he was against her leaving, Ben is quite the playboy.  In fact, one of the issues in his relationship with Miko is the fact that he has an attraction to “white” girls, ie non Asians. He quickly tries to pick up a young girl who works in the same movie theater as he does.  When that doesn’t work, he moves onto a bisexual woman, who ends up dumping him to return to her ex girlfriend.  Eventually Ben realizes he misses Miko, so he follows her to New York . . .

My experience with graphic novels is extremely minimal, so I am still finding my ground and discovering what I enjoy.  I enjoyed Shortcomings immensly.  I am always amazed at how much can be conveyed through a short graphic novel, and this was no exception.  I was completely drawn into Ben’s life and his relationships.  I rooted for him but I also chastised him.  Like a lot of twenty something men, Ben had no idea of what he wanted and was not mature enough to give Miko the respect she deserved, even if he was unable to provide her with a loving relationship.

Shortcomings has only whetted my appetite for more graphic novels.  I would also be interested in reading more of Tomine.

Other Reviews:

Avid Book Reader

Booklust

The Zen Leaf

Jenny’s Books

I borrowed this book from my local library.

This book counts towards the GLBT challenge.

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3 Responses

  1. Glad to hear you liked this one so much! Even though it wasn’t my favorite, I still think about it quite often, trying to sift through it in my head so I can decide if I did or didn’t like it. It dfinitely stayed with me.

  2. This sounds really interesting. I found a liking of GNs just over one year ago and a love of GNs about 6 months ago, so I feel pretty new to the game too. Sometimes I still have to remind myself to pause and look at the frames. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. I’ve only read one of Tomine’s books–Summer Blonde–but I really enjoyed it. I’ll be keeping an eye out for this one too!

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