Comic Review: The Good Asian #1 (Image Comics)

Is there really a ‘good Asian’ in San Francisco in 1936? It’s a trick question, of course, and partially answered in The Good Asian #1, from Image Comics. The Good […]

Is there really a ‘good Asian’ in San Francisco in 1936? It’s a trick question, of course, and partially answered in The Good Asian #1, from Image Comics.

The Good Asian is written by Pornsak Pichetshote, author of the highly acclaimed horror series Infidel. Our main character, Edison Hark is a Chinese-American detective. The US government in 1936 is vetting Asians. With intense scrutiny toward the “inscrutible”, intense bias against the immigrants who want to come to California. Europe is a cauldron of political unrest, and the American authorities are crossing their Ts and dotting their eyes. Elaborate interrogations, with a huge queue of Asians being put on hold while decisions are slowly turtled out. In this film noir-style comic, the shadows cloak the truths and hide the guilty.

The Good Asian plunks Edison Hark into the midst of this time. The suspicion, the bullying, the intimidating. Edison Hark plays both sides against the other and tries to disguise the bad taste in his mouth while he investigates. Artist Alexandre Tefenkgi provides us with classic views of San Francisco. It’s a visual primer on the 1930s wealthy, their fashions, automobiles, and privileges, contrasting against the tenement dwellers, the liars, and racketeers. Colourist Lee Loughridge illuminates the violence with blues and browns, orange and green. Designer and letterer is Jeff Powell.

Nicely handled, great period piece. Plenty of drama and action. The openly racist language might offend some, but it rings true to the times, those hazy crazy criminal days of 9 decades ago.

Image, The Good Asian #1, $3.99 for 36 pages of content. Mature.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!