The Painted Face

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The Painted Face is a story written and illustrated by Amai Tonken. It ran in Issue 33 at, and is mirrored at


From "A young Chinese-American feels alienated from his best friend and gets a job working for an older white man who seems to be obsessed with Chinese culture."

External Reviews[edit]

  • "The main characters, Oliver and Nan, are POC. Nan is almost the stereotypical Asian–courteous, able to speak his mother’s tongue (Mandarin) and studying medicine. Oliver, on the other hand, is none of those things–he just wants to dance, but his YouTube channel just isn’t hitting off. Oliver’s parents procure him a job with a white man named Ralph who can speak Mandarin even better than Oliver can. The story has a number of subplots, and it displays and discusses casual and non-casual racism, and a family’s dynamic where the parents are immigrants who want the best for their children, and their children, being under this (in Oliver’s case, unwanted) pressure. Oliver also struggles with his sexuality, and his jealously related to things Nan… In all, a complex and at times deep slice-of-life story."