ShortcomingsGraphic Novel - 2007
Ben Tanaka, a confused, obsessive, twenty-something Japanese American, embarks on a cross-country search for contentment--or the perfect girl.
FROM THE PREEMINENT CARTOONIST OF HIS GENERATION, THE MOST ANTICIPATED GRAPHIC NOVEL OF 2007
Shortcomings, Adrian Tomine's first long-form graphic novel, is the story of Ben Tanaka, a confused, obsessive Japanese American male in his late twenties, and his cross-country search for contentment (or at least the perfect girl). Along the way, Tomine tackles modern culture, sexual mores, and racial politics with brutal honesty and lacerating, irreverent humor, while deftly bringing to life a cast of painfully real antihero characters. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, Tomine has acquired a cultlike fan following and has earned status as one of the most widely acclaimed cartoonists of our time.
Shortcomings was serialized in Tomine's iconic comic book series Optic Nerve and was excerpted in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #13.
Ben Tanaka, a confused, obsessive, twenty-something Japanese American, embarks on a cross-country search for contentment--or the perfect girl--in a graphic novel that tackles modern culture, sexual mores, and racial politics with honesty and humor.
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
"You know, there's still a part of me that thinks when I land in Oakland, everything will just be...back to normal." -Ben to Alice
"I love this place. I don't think ther's a healthy item on the menu." -Sasha to Ben
"Oh, that's one of my works-in-progress. I wake up every morning, go pee, and then take a picture. I've been doing it since January." -Autumn to Ben
"Still, I'm sure my family would rather see me with a Japanese boy than a Korean girl." -Alice to Ben
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SummaryAdd a Summary
Jaded tri-genarian Ben Tanaka has a decent life but manages to find enough to complain about. Managing a local theater also seems to distance him from his girlfriend Miko's interest in independent film, looking down on her Asian Film Festival with enough self loathing for both of them. His friend Alice Kim is a womanizing woman and manages to aid him in some semblance of a social life.
Add to this one cross country internship for Miko, a new, cute flirty punker employee at the theater, and a waffling bisexual white girl making his acquaintance and Ben has his hands full. It seems Ben knows what he doesn't want, but does he really want what he thinks he does?