Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote / Artist: Alexandre Tefenkgi / Image
I can’t stop thinking about The Good Asian. I can’t stop reveling in the recreation of a world adjacent to the past that Pichetshote and Tefenkgi have carefully curated. And I mostly can’t stop thinking about how Edison Hark’s complicated struggles with his Chinese-American heritage have analogs to my own experiences navigating my Filipino-American heritage. I said as much during my last review, but it definitely bears repeating. There is a level of attention and authenticity to this story that makes it mystifying in the best ways possible.
The Good Asian #2 wastes no panel as it jumps immediately to Hark dealing with the consequences of finding a dead body and trying to protect a boy who had the misfortune of being there at the wrong time. And it is a flurry of feelings and images as Pichetshote’s writing packs a punch and Tefenkgi’s art and Lourghridge’s colors manage to tell vivid vignettes in compact spaces. The Good Asian #2 effectively utilizing each page and covers a multitude of emotional spectrum and various times. It’s incredibly efficient story telling from both a narrative and visual perspective that really lets the noir foundation of the series to bustle along.
As Edison Hark navigates Chinatown on the behalf of a white police force, we get to see a very reasonable facsimile of 1936 California. The level of detail, the specificity, and the care that the creative team put into the story is so blaring evident. It’s incredibly evocative and makes for incredibly compelling historical fiction. There are so many interesting bits and pieces that are inserted into the dialog and panels, and the story uses all of these small facets to keep up a brisk pace and engaging story.
I love The Good Asian. Every issue offers a thrilling entry, a window to a past that can help parse what is happening in the world today, and I cannot recommend the book enough. This is going to be one of the foundational noirs in modern fiction in years to come, and you owe to yourself to keep current.
10 “Hatchets” out of 10
Enjoying The Good Asian? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.