By Bob Fingerman (Fantagraphics Books)
ISBN: 978-1-60699-143-5 (HB)
The always innovative and entertaining Bob Fingerman (Minimum Wage; Recess Pieces; Bottomfeeder; Garbage Pail Kids; Scooby Doo) turned his post-modern attentions to the burgeoning sector of illustrated novellas (picture books for grown-ups) with this classy, sassy and wickedly beguiling blend of Alice in Wonderland, Stranger in a Strange Landand Clerks – with just a dash of Allan Moyle’s hugely underrated 1995 movie Empire Records peppering the mix.
There’s a whole other class of people in the world: eternally young, worldly-wise and yet unaccountably innocent. They dress oddly, know cool but useless things, don’t care about pension plans or job security and work only to live their outside lives. They are the disaffected tribe who work for minimum wage in the odd corners of modern retail: record stores, non-chain book shops, computer games stores, comic shops…
They’re not an underclass, just a different one.
Darla Vogel earns her living at Kwok’s Video rental store. As a cool and rudely healthy chick in a venue that attracts a lot of loners, weirdoes and social no-hopers, she often finds herself the object of fumbling attention and unwanted gifts. One particular night when she gets home she finds herself abducted via a poster on her wall into a disturbing new universe: bleakly undulating, slightly skewed, grossly organic and filled with far too much of the wrong kind of nakedness. Darla wants to go home…
Fingerman takes a classic plot with a much funnier, feistier heroine, adds a dollop of queasy otherworldliness, peppers it all with dry wit and an avalanche of contemporary references – everything from celebrity gossip to comic – before adding his own subversively funny tone-and-wash illustrations (a delightful remembrance of the best Mad Magazine pages) to produce a runaway delight for full-grown childish lovers of the outré and outrageous.
Get it: it’s yummy scrummy!
© 2009 Bob Fingerman. All rights reserved.