The Good Asian #1 - Review

by Olivier Roth on May 05, 2021

The Good Asian #1 - Review

Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote

Artist: Alexandre Tefenkgi

Colorist: Lee Loughridge

Letterer & Designer: Jeff Powell 

Cover Artist: Dave Johnson

Published by: Image Comics


Once every year or two, there will be a comic that I pick up either for review or from my local comic book shop that will stay with me. It can either be because of the writing, the art, but more often than not, it’s because it is a comic that falls directly into a style that I just love. The Noir Detective is one my favorite type of comic / book / movie / whatever, and The Good Asian ticks all of those boxes. 


If, as the reader, you aren’t clued in right away, Pichetshote declares it on the inner title page that this book will be a mystery - an Edison Hark Mystery to be exact. And Pichetshote and team deliver. 


As far as first issues go, The Good Asian is structured exactly how you would want a first issue to work: 

  1. It introduces the title character and provides some, but not all of his backstory;

  2. It establishes the time, place, and poignant to this story, the political climate of the era. In this case, 1936 San Francisco during the United States ban of chinese immigrants.

  3. It provides the reason to read the book. As a noir detective comic, this would be the disappearance of a chinese maid and Hark’s pursuit to find her. 


All of these elements are quickly established by Pichetshote within the first half of the comic as we learn a little about Edison Hark and who he is, and more importantly, why he’s considered a “good Asian”. 


As the story progressed, I couldn’t help but feel more and more engrossed with the life of our protagonist, wanting to know more and also, loving to see a noir chinese detective that wasn’t a racist cliche - Pichetshote addresses this in the back matter, which I appreciated. 


As for the art. What can I say? The combination of Tefenkgi, an artist that I am not familiar with and Loughridge on colors, provide an exquisite compliment to PIchetshote script. Tefenkgi’s has that distinctly European style that I’ve seen appear more and more in North American comics. It’s the kind of style that lends itself well to a story-driven comic as we the reader get to take time with the characters presented to us. A lot less “splash-pages”, and a lot more 6-8 panel pages. This is also emphasised in the intricate detail that Tefenkgi brings to each panel - this world feels lived-in, which I really love.  


Loughridge’s colors are the perfect companion to tefenkgi’s pencils throughout the whole issue. His color palette choices vary from scene to scene, allowing the reader’s eye to pick up the important parts of a panel as well as take in the atmosphere that is being created. 


The Good Asian is the type of comic that might be slept on, but really shouldn’t. When reviewing comics, you don’t always go out and pick up your own, but this is one comic that will be added to my pull list. And you should add it to yours as well.

Our Score:


A Look Inside