Bob Fingerman’s “Minimum Wage” #2 is an engaging and relatable slice of life story with a slightly dark edge and healthy dose of reality.
Fingerman’s story is simple with Rob living back at home as he recovers financially (and emotionally) from his divorce. Fingerman’s writing is wonderfully real. It feels authentic whether readers are dealing with Rob’s humorous internal narration, his back and forth with his friends, or the slightly awkward conversations with May. Nicest of all is the lovely contrast that all those variations draw.
Fingerman’s cartooning is excellent. It’s expressive and engaging across the board. His characters, realistic in their flaws, but with a fine cartoonish interpretation that works wonders, gives great depth and breadth to Rob’s world. Similarly, Fingerman’s character acting is exceptional and the storytelling is clean and easy to follow even though the work is highly detailed and finely rendered. The sole flaw in Fingerman’s illustration work is May, who is less consistently rendered than everyone else. It’s perhaps deliberate that May changes in appearance, since Rob’s perspective on her changes throughout the book, but since the changes are subtle and everyone else is incredibly consistent, it reads as a slight mistake, rather than a deliberate storytelling choice.
It’s great to see Image publishing a true indie book like “Minimum Wage.” While a lot of Image’s current titles are far more indie than the average “big two” book “Minimum Wage” is a whole different animal. Black and white with pale blue tones, not a superhero or “high-concept” idea in sight, and produced by a single creator, this isn’t the kind of book typically seen from any of the big publishers, but it should be.
This book is never going to be a huge seller for Image the way something like “Saga” is, but it’s a wonderful way for the publisher to expand their library, adding variety and layers to an already impressive line. “Minimum Wage” is a great book to round out that line as it’s got its roots and influences easily traced to the best of indie comics. It’s slightly aggressive and cringe-inducing in its portrayal of reality, but all in the best of ways.