Herman by Trade

Chris W. Kim. SelfMadeHero, $22.95 (120p) ISBN 978-1-91059-328-8
Asking questions about art, creativity, and ownership, Kim’s debut graphic novel follows a quiet, keep-to-himself street cleaner, Herman, who has a peculiar ability to transform his appearance: he can literally be anyone else. Herman gets the chance to put this ability to practical use when he meets a filmmaker, Mio, who seeks local performers for her new movie. Jam-packed auditions follow, enticing Herman to walk away from his former life and give a new one a try. Embraced by Mio, and used in the film more than expected, Herman’s gift drowns out the talents of other performers and raises the observation that shape-shifting is not necessarily a creative power, but a derivative one. Soon, shape-shifting is criticized as unoriginal, and Mio’s utilization of it threatens to enrage the community and damage her reputation. Kim’s city unfolds in scratchy black and white, dominated by crowds and silence that sets the tone for this ruminative work. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
Genre: Comics
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