Review: Minimum Wage #4
“Fingerman’s skill as a cartoonist shines as he disarms readers with Hoffman’s anxious expressions and idiosyncratic nature; his mastery of the medium as a storyteller resides in his ability to flip-the-switch and hit his reader right in the feels with just a simple, singular line.”
Minimum Wage #4
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Bob Fingerman
Artist: Bob Fingerman
Release Date: April 16, 2014
Image Comics’ Minimum Wage #4 from Bob Fingerman is a unique animal that is quietly stalking its prey from the shelves of comic book shops this week. It’s a book that, at a glance, seems harmless and of little or no consequence but once you pick it up, it will sink it’s teeth into you and never let you go. Minimum Wage is mercilessly funny and it gives modern masculinity a really solid elbow to the ribs with an accurate depiction of how nebulous it can be trying to be a modern man in America.
Fingerman’s semi-autobiographical lead, Rob Hoffman, is constantly seeking to analyze and actualize his own identity in a life that is constantly in a state of flux. Just when you thinks Rob has nailed something down, life seems to play a cruel joke on him by moving all of his furniture around when he’s not looking. Fingerman’s sharp wit and unflinching humor galvanizes the sensitive and aloof Hoffman; making him an easily relatable everyman. This book is laugh-out-loud funny and sincere as a portrait of an artist wrestling with his own masculine identity. Fingerman’s skill as a cartoonist shines as he disarms readers with Hoffman’s anxious expressions and idiosyncratic nature; his mastery of the medium as a storyteller resides in his ability to flip-the-switch and hit his reader right in the feels with just a simple, singular line.
Issue #4 is a “drinking buddies” type of story that also progresses Rob’s growing art career as he begins a new high-profile job drawing comics for a recognizable intellectual property analogous to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, he’s on the mend and he can’t seem to escape the grasp of married women. Things turn towards hilarity as Rob and two of his buddies go trolling for girls and wind up at a late-night dive where they become stinking drunk with a strange character who won’t seem to leave them alone. Without giving too much away, Minimum Wage #4 will remind you of your friendships and the desire to be the best version of yourself as Rob seeks to move out of his mother’s home and decides to take the comic book work outside of his comfort zone as an adult comix artist.
If you’re looking for a change of pace, if you’re looking for something more intimate (and I don’t mean the sort of intimate that Rob Hoffman can’t seem to stop thinking about…), you should give Minimum Wage a shot. It’s easily a stand-out even with the current influx of high profile creators like Greg Rucka and Rick Remender. If you like off-beat “art imitating life” that is earnestly funny with just the right touch of honest emotion, Minimum Wage is a sure-fire way to change things up this week. Go grab a copy and enjoy.