Saturday, January 10, 2015
Vanity may be one of the driving forces of US culture, what with our obsessions with fame and celebrity. On a more mundane level, we have huge cosmetics and body modification industries that aim to shape people into youthful ideals. Fingerprints tackles all of these issues, with a look at Dr. Fingers, an ace plastic surgeon with the duel obsessions of maintaining the perfect face while also being tops in his field.
His massive ego rests on his work on mega-celebrities, to the point where he neglects all that is going on around him in his house and at his practice. In addition to his crumbling marriage, Dr. Fingers also faces a huge obstacle when his top assistance quits his practice to peddle her own services, which are aided by a spectacular new plastic surgery invention.
Certainly, this book is the stuff of soap operas, and all that is being lampooned here is easy fodder, but I have to say that I was charmed by the simple storytelling, the stylized art style, and the way that dialogue accompanies the illustrations almost like dialogue cards from a silent movie. The artwork and story both flow in deceptively simple and smooth manners.
This debut graphic novel is the creation of Will Dinski. He has makes books, has created various other short comics, and is also known for his political story Ablatio Penis. He talks more about his work on Fingerprints in this interview.
The reviews I have read about this book have been positive, with some reservations. Parabasis remarked that it was "built on clever iterations of theme rather than deep characterizations or world creation, and its drawing style efficiently moves the reader through the story." James Mason wrote that "it made me think about just how superficial we’ve gotten as a society" but wished it "cut deeper into this subject." Publishers Weekly commented that it "aims to be provocative, but ends up not as substantial as it could be."
Fingerprints was published by Top Shelf, and they have a preview and much more available here.