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.
As a relatively new reader of graphic novels and a longtime reader of contemporary fiction, I found that Shortcomings was a perfect way to marry these two worlds and dive headfirst into the world of comics. The story follows a young man through many instances so many of us have been through – loss of love, struggle with identity, and awkward encounters. This makes the imperfect characters extremely accessible. As in his short stories, Tomine opts for black and white graphics and easy to follow dialogue. Definitely worth picking up!