mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Get Equipped With...Bitter Meal! (67)

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang, art by Thien Pham.

The card: "You're So Good!"
The ghost reads the words inside.
Dad: "I'm proud of you."

I still haven't read American Born Chinese, but based on enjoying Prime Baby, & went ahead & picked up Level Up on a lark & read it on my evening's train ride home. Unsurprisingly, things that are targeted towards geekdom attract my eye. Some of them are embarrassing train wrecks like The Elfish Gene-- books I fully intend to like & then find myself a little bit annoyed about. There are a few moments in Level Up that raise my eyebrows-- "is this going to turn into a piece of self-loathing? I hate that, you know," but then...the book doesn't go down that route. It takes a few twists, & yes, it is a bit of a "second generation immigrant story"-- somehow that is a genre of comic book? The "drawn from my autobiographical roots" thing is sort of the crux of a lot of indie comics, but I'm very glad we've finally gotten past the gross-out books & the...well, I already said self-loathing, didn't I? It is just a thing I worry about sometimes. Like an endemic sickness in the genre. There is a wistfulness instead-- another unifying trend in the funnybooks-- but Yang's story has a very fulfilling conclusion, actually, unifying the conflict with an elegant twist of the wrist. Nicely done. & the Gameboy-esque packaging is perfect.
Tags: books, comics, haiku, yang

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