Adrian Tomine / Shortcomings / 2007

In an audience full of moviegoers appreciating the conclusion of a film that ends in an optimistic fortune cookie, Ben Tanaka looks perturbed. Ben points at Miko when he says “a real movie theater.” Miko says “I was in such a good mood,” and we see the car but not the interior. “Do you know her?”/”Not yet” followed by a panel with no dialogue, characters in profile facing each other. Miko walks away in her socks and underwear. The Volkswagen drives, with stylized clouds overhead. Autumn blows a kiss across two panels, each subdivided. Ben meets with Alice, says, “Now I’m supposed to be all supportive.” Alice says “God” but we can’t see her face, and then she ends the conversation. Ben’s tag is up upon waking. Autumn’s speech bubble overlaps Ben’s. Ben meets with Sasha; the page is arranged like the one where Ben meets Alice and she says “God.” In the third panel (again), Ben says something, and Sasha’s face is turned away: she says “What?” Then she disagrees with him. Ben’s eyes are slightly parted when he kisses Sasha. Sasha’s hair on the flower pillow. Miko’s hair on the pillow. Miko, facing away completely, says You should probably go now. Ben says Don’t do this to me, and the speech bubble is perforated. Miko is once again facing away. Clouds over the bridge. Clouds in one of the panels, as the plane takes off.

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