Maximum Minimum Wage

Bob Fingerman. Image, $34.99 (360p) ISBN 978-1-60706-6-743
The romance of Rob and Sylvia unfolds in Fingerman’s semiautobiographical work, capturing a very specific segment of New York City’s population—a cadre of crass and cranky geeks who struggle with arrested development and obsess about comics and pornography, which most of them also spend time creating. Your first inclination might be to run away from these misfits, but Fingerman’s portrayals are too sharp to miss, particularly in the case of Sylvia. She’s a one-woman tower of maturity and kindness who grounds those around her and their shenanigans, fulfilling her role as Rob’s better half and also rounding out Fingerman’s story. She balances the author’s portrait of politically incorrect city-dwellers and the gallows humor that they sometimes rely too heavily on. Fingerman’s depictions of oddballs and crazies across New York’s social strata is entirely on target, hilarious, and cringe-worthy. This complete edition includes the series’ first two original installments as extras, with a combined, condensed version from an earlier reprint as the official first chapter. That version is fine, but the book would be better served by kicking off with the expansive original installments, which wind through the darkest bowels of Fingerman’s city and fill in some notable holes from the shorter version. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/08/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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