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Consequences of these choices only compound his deep-seated insecurities. (Zushi)
Both Ben and Miko are Japanese-Americans, and their shared ethnic background impacts on their lives in significantly different ways. Miko is proactive and politicised -- she is the assistant organiser of a film festival showcasing Asian-American talent. Ben, meanwhile, is a depressive manager of a local cinema, seemingly content in his life of slow-burning frustration and -- not surprisingly -- covert masturbation.
Sexual stereotyping is at the heart of the story. The title itself is a reference to Ben's feeling of inadequacy in the trousers department (underneath the dust jacket, the book cover bears a life-size image of a ruler). At one point, Ben recalls a "stupid joke": "What's the difference between Asian men and Caucasian men?" The punchline -- "the cauc" -- is both funny and deeply uncomfortable. "I actually heard a girl tell that joke in college! I was standing right there."
When Miko discovers Ben's stash of pornographic DVDs, what could have been played for laughs develops into something far more interesting. It isn't the fact that he needs them at all that offends her, so much as that "all the girls are white." Later, he finds himself in bed with Sasha Lenz, a Caucasian woman. Intimately sketched in close-up images, it's a perceptive, faintly sad scene. Ben feels he is losing a second virginity, drawn along racial lines: "It's just... This is the first time I've ever been with..."
The many supporting players are equally well developed. The lasting impression is one of real cities, populated by real people. It is to Tomine's credit that he is able to create believable characters out of what, in less subtle hands, could have felt contrived or cliched. So we have Alice, a South Korean lesbian academic with an irrepressible libido and racist parents; Autumn, an attractive "punk weirdo" in a performance art collective; and Leon, who Ben dismisses as a white "Steven Segal dip*****." (Zushi)
Shortcoming relates a sense of humanity to individuals consistently stereotyped. Summer Blonde, another popular publication by Tomine and reportedly his 2002 masterpiece, focuses on stalkers, phone pranksters and other emotionally atomized outsiders. In this work, as in many of Tomine's stories, he depicts characters as: "...ordinary people who find themselves turning into stalkers and creeps." (Hoffman) in Summer Blonde's title story, a timid man starts to follow a girl he meets in a greeting card store, who, not thinking as usual, tells him one of her closest secrets. In time, his following changes to stalking.
Tiny Giants Tiny Giants, a collection of Nate Powell's work from 1998 to 2003, includes stories focusing on subjects which range from bad teeth to dangerous dolls to a person longing for moments in his/her youth that may not have ever occurred. Farrelly suggests Powell used too few superlatives exist to describe thie particular book and that some new readers "will be bowled over by the beauty and grace of Powell's style."
Powell mixes wry political and social commentary into his work. In one story, a beating taken by one character could be the result of homophobia, or just another link in a chain of beatings for this young man. In another short piece, the sum total fears of the population end up taking the form of "sexy defense contracts for everyone at Boeing!" it's not done with the ham-handedness of all those 9-11 tribute books, but rather with a subtle jab here and there. Powell has a point, but he is not going to make it at the expense of the story and art. (Farrelly)
The following figure (3) portrays the cover of Tiny Giants.
Figure (2): Copy of Cover of Tiny Giants. By Nate Powell (Farrelly)
Farrelly presents tiny moments of life that are lived between times of great adventures or giant days noted when lives end, begin, or change forever. The tiny or small days, tiny moments of life, Powell contends, constitute a person's consciousness.
Powell relates moments when a character spends hours "picking at foul food or staring into a mirror to look at a deformity of...[his/her] (real or imagined) or even staring into the darkness of... [his/her] bedroom trying to make out a shape just outside the light."
Powell poignantly combines those moments and poignantly presents them into Tiny Giants. (Farrelly)
Books that Reveal the World in the fantasy comic-book novel, Neverwhere (Avon; 1998), noted by Frommer's Staff as one of the Editor's Choice of books that make readers see the world, Neil Gaiman, comic-book writer, tells the story of Richard Mayhew. Mayhew, a businessman, crosses over into a different plane of existence after he helps a woman he finds bleeding on a London street. He is then "trapped in 'London Below,' a world that exists in the London Undergound...." As Mayhew struggles to regain his normal life, he, as a real-life character, "travels" through a maze of London Underground stops. In the surreal world in the shadows of London, the reader experiences Mayhew's choices alongside him. (Rivera)
Choices' Theories a number of interventions based on an core values." (Kidder 18) the following four "justice vs. mercy" dilemmas may be called "law vs. love, or equity vs. compassion, or fairness vs. affection" (Kidder 18). These common dilemmas which depict models or paradigms include:
Truth vs. loyalty
Individual vs. community
Short-term vs. long-term
Justice vs. mercy (Kidder 18)
Tough choices arise in all areas of life, corporate, professional, personal, civic, international, educational, religious, etc., and traditionally pit one "right" value against another. The following considerations mirror "rights" that challenges individuals at various times:
It is right to protect the endangered spotted owl in the old-growth forests of the American Northwest -- and right to provide jobs for loggers.
It is right to honor a woman's right to make decisions affecting her body -- and right to protect the lives of the unborn.
It is right to provide our children with the finest public schools available -- and right to prevent the constant upward ratcheting of state and local taxes.
It is right to extend equal social services to everyone regardless of race or ethnic origin -- and right to pay special attention to those whose cultural backgrounds may have deprived them of past opportunities.
It is right to refrain from meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign nations -- and right to help protect the undefended in warring regions where they are subject to slaughter.
It is right to bench the star college quarterback caught drinking the night before the championship game -- and right to field the best possible team for tomorrow's game.
It is right to resist the importation of products made in developing nations to the detriment of the environment -- and right to provide jobs, even at low wages, for citizens of those nations.
It is right to condemn the minister who has an affair with a parishioner -- and right to extend mercy to him for the only real mistake he's ever made.
It is right to find out all you can about your competitor's costs and price structures -- and right to obtain information only through proper channels. (Kidder 16)
This researcher purports the following scenario which reflects touch choices that also reflect points of right vs. Kidder (16) purports. This researcher also requests the reader mentally positions him/her self in this potential, distressing situation:
You are an inmate in a concentration camp with your son. A sadistic guard threatens, "Your son tried to escape and he will be hanged. You must pull the chair from underneath him. If you do not do this, then I will not only kill your son, I will kill one more inmate, as well."
You have no doubt the sadistic guard means what he says. What should you do?
Would you, as the father, [the reader] pull the chair from beneath your son, contributing to his death, and save the other innocent inmate? If so, you would be considered an honourable man, but bad father. Would you be wrong if you did not pull the chair and, in effect, "kill" both your son and the innocent man?
Along with right vs. right choices, individuals in the real world of comics and in life also have…
Sources Used in Documents:
The Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. 16 Jan. 2008 www.bartleby.com/66/.
The Comic-Book Heroes with a Touch of Genius." The Daily Mail (London, England) 22 Dec. 2006: 64. Questia. 15 Jan. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5018563927.
Dunford, Richard. "Chapter 4 Developing a Research Proposal." Surviving Your Thesis. Ed. Suzan Burton and Peter Steane. New York: Routledge, 2004. 46-58. Questia. 15 Jan. 2008 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=107528130.
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