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Adrian Tomine

Adrian Tomine - Optic Nerve #12 - Amber Sweet

Adrian Tomine is back on familiar ground with "Amber Sweet," the story of a young woman constantly mistaken for a popular online porn star. As is common in Tomine stories, the protagonist is isolated from her peers and is looking for a way to fit in. But the mistaken identity problem will not go away, so she changed schools and moves to a different area. That still doesn't solve her problems, but I'll let you read the rest.

I really enjoyed this issue of Optic Nerve. It was like a blast to the past, and it's good to see Tomine hasn't lost his touch for doing these unique stories of alienation and disappointment ("Hortisculture"). Also, the letters section is really good. I knew there were a lot of white Tomine fans who just wouldn't get ethnic identity issues in Shortcomings, and the letters confirmed as much.

The beleaguered protagonist meets the real Amber Sweet.

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"Scenes from an Impending Marriage"

What a great little book. Filled with funny anecdotes of Adrian's final weeks before getting married.


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Adrian Tomine

Adrian Tomine is one of my favorite comic book writers. He has a knack for capturing the nuances of human interaction, like that scene from Optic Nerve #6, "Hawaiian Getaway," where Hilary Chan is waiting in line at the coffee house and the perky blond barista is super talkative to the guy in front of her, but when Hilary gets to the counter she suddenly becomes reticent. Or the way the cute grocery clerk's kindness in "Supermarket" (Optic Nerve #3) turns into uneasiness at the excessive touchiness of the blind Mr. Lewis, whom she senses might be grabbing onto her for more than direction. Who writes this type of subtle stuff anymore?! I'd recommend the entire Optic Nerve series, and if you can find them, the individual issues because the letters are great.


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