Comic books have come a long way since the 1930s with Famous Funnie. Not only have they reached a place of true legitimacy in their own right, but the graphic novel form, in the hands of writers like Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve) and Daniel Clowes (Ghost World), truly breach the divide of comic and novel.

Tomine’s latest venture, Shortcomings, printed in hardcover form, looks and reads like a novella. The story of Ben Tanaka, and his romantic travails, captures the frustrations and confusions of a character who seems stuck in a post-college funk even though, or because of the fact, he has reached the ripe age of 30.

Shot through with both angst and painful moments of self-discovery, Tomine explores the plight of an Asian man, possibly hung up on the fantasy of white women, and full of self-loathing that he cannot scale. Funny, true and original, Shortcomings grips the reader from the first frame to the last.

Shortcomings is currently available. Adrian Tomine will be at Skylight Books on Nov. 3 at 5 p.m. Skylight Books is located at 1818 N. Vermont Ave.