Fair warning, all. Over the next week or so (I can’t imagine it’s going to take me that much longer), I aim to read ALL the comic book trades and/or graphic novels that the husband and I own, and that I haven’t gotten round to reading. Actually, in all honesty, it’s not all of them, we have a ton of Hellblazer and Jack Kirby comics and all manner of things my husband owns that I have little to NO interest in, but there are 18 books in the pile of books I have promised myself I was going to read (some that I’ve owned for years and years and years), but just never got round to. This is the summer when I tackle them all. Hence there will be quite a lot of reviews for comics and graphic novels to come. I’m not even doing this to bulk up my CBR tally, although it’s certainly not going to hurt. I will be reading them in alphabetical order, starting with American Born Chinese.
This book alternates between three different story lines. The first, by far my favourite, is about the Monkey King, who teaches himself all the different branches of Kung Fu until he is not only invulnerable and immortal, but also able to fly, make himself huge, shrink down or shapeshift. He wants to become greater than Tze Yo Tzuh, the God of all the gods, and is instead buried under a mountain for five hundred years because he is too stubborn to change his mind.
The second story is about Jin Wang, who moves from San Francisco to a neighbourhood with barely any Asians, and is ostracised and bullied as a result. He so desperately wants to fit in, even more so when he falls for one of the American girls in school. His only friend is a kid from Taiwan, Wei-Chen, a geeky boy who also struggles to fit in and has to wrestle with speaking correct English on top of everything else.
The third story seems to be a racist sit-com, complete with awful laugh track, about Danny, recently accepted onto the varsity basketball team. He’s quite well-liked and popular at school, but then his cousin Chin-Kee, the worst Chinese stereotype character you can possibly imagine, comes to visit and proceeds to make him more and more embarrassed and freaked out.
The three separate and seemingly unconnected storylines eventually converge into one, and the theme of the whole book seems to be acceptance of one’s true self, even in the face of adversity. More on my blog.