Zine Reviews

Zine Review: This Asian American Life

This Asian American Life
Katie Quan
www.facebook.com/thisasianamlife

This Asian American Life is a ½ fold full colour comic about Katie’s life and being an Asian American.

I know I usually don’t open with the aesthetic side of things, but hello smooth paper and great use of colour.

This Asian American life opens with a prologue about the zine and a bit, one-panel comic full of Katie’s comic self sitting in the middle of a lot of speech bubbles. Each speech bubble was filled with something Katie has no doubt heard more than once. Things that made me very sad knowing that people could say things like “Too rich to have a ‘real’ POC experience”. It did snap me awake to the fact that this zine wasn’t going to be all fuzzy lala. As Katie writes:

“…hopes to provide one perspective as a way of inviting dialogue about race/ethnicity, gender, and a coming of age experience.”

That being said, all lives are multi-faceted. This comic has funny moments as well as sad and politically charged moments. Katie’s comics cover things like being a new(ish) driver, tired days, toxic relationships, and feeling ‘between race’.

As I mentioned at the beginning, this zine has very nice paper that really serves the art. I like Katie’s use of colour – keeping things mostly to a certain range like reds, greens, or blues. There are smaller details in different colours, but I think this is the first time in a long time I’ve noticed something like that.

I don’t want to call Katie’s art style minimalist because I didn’t take nearly enough art classes to know if that’s an accurate description. The comics are, for the most part, one-page comics with some of them only made up of one or two panels. The details included are the necessary ones and no more, really. (It’s amazing how much can be expressed with eyes and eyebrows alone.) It’s sweet and inviting and doesn’t leave me feeling overwhelmed that I may miss something.

Overall, I highly enjoyed this zine. I feel like it was the beginning, though, and I want more! Haha. I look forward to checking out more of Katie’s work.

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