Minimum Wage 6 (June 2014)

Minimum Wage #6

I’m not sure if there’s a better formula for Minimum Wage; Fingerman might have found it. It balances out all the content between humor, outlandish humor and self-observation. There’s some time spent on Rob’s love life, then a lengthy comedic subplot, then some stuff with his male friends. Not too much with them, but enough for the pop culture references (though Fingerman opens with a great one and it’s Rob and the girl) and manly one liners.

This issue continues with two of Rob’s ladies–almost called him Bob, maybe because one has to wonder how much of Wage is non-fictionally inspired–with Deputy Deedee successfully transitioned into being Rob’s buddy’s girl. Instead, there’s an idyllic main girl plot with Sheila, Rob’s boss. But Fingerman keeps up the humor and character work to make the idyllic hilarious.

There’s also a great homage to various artists Rob (and Fingerman) like.

Wage is fantastic.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Bob Fingerman; publisher, Image Comics.

Minimum Wage 5 (May 2014)

Minimum Wage #5

Fingerman achieves a nice, lyrical quality with this issue of Minimum Wage. The issue has a couple repeating elements. Rob isn’t working on his licensed comic job, he’s hanging out a lot with his old roommate, he’s sweating. There’s a lot of sweating to this comic. It’s very hot in New York during this comic.

Rob’s friend keeps trying to help with Rob’s love life, which puts Rob back in bed with Deputy DeeDee. She’s a really fun character, especially since she never gets flustered or mad. Makes her appearances consistently enjoyable.

Not so with the ex-wife, who shows up in the color dream sequence. Fingerman’s trying too hard with her.

But then Rob does get another lady friend and it’s a previous acquaintance and Fingerman makes up for the evil ex-wife who’s dressed like Vampirella. Something about the issue, maybe the way elements keep repeating, really connects. Good work.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Bob Fingerman; publisher, Image Comics.

Minimum Wage 4 (April 2014)

Minimum Wage #4

Fingerman finds a nice calm with this issue of Wage. He doesn’t try for much–most of the issue involves protagonist Rob and his two friends out for a night on the town and running into awkward situations. None of the situations are uproarious, but all of them are pleasing enough.

The first part of the issue deals with moving things along plot-wise. New job, new apartment. Rob has so many different friends it’s hard to imagine how the guy has time to do any work whatsoever; Fingerman really likes drawing scenes in dining establishments.

As I said, the calm is nice–there’s a definite lack of ambition to it. The story can’t do too much with Rob doing nothing but talking to his buddies and Fingerman never puts them on high adventures together.

Hopefully next issue will have more activity, but it’s unclear how much comic really needs.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Bob Fingerman; publisher, Image Comics.

Minimum Wage 3 (March 2014)

Mw3

I didn't really think Minimum Wage could ever be as good as this issue turns out. Fingerman has a single adventure for alter ego Rob. He gets dumped and fills in on a public access television puppet show and meets his childhood crush, the fetching ranger woman.

It goes places. It goes very odd places.

Fingerman spends a little time with Rob's living situation (with his mother) and quite a bit with a couple friends… not to mention the hilarious cab ride sequence where poor Rob gets to listen to the cabbie's bigoted ranting. Fingerman just gets in a lot of funny scenes and doesn't spend any time trying to develop the character.

Wage works like an extended comic strip, its characters too. They can't change too much or fast. They're funnier when they aren't developing as quickly as they would normally.

I've raised my hopes for Fingerman and Wage

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Bob Fingerman; publisher, Image Comics.

Minimum Wage 2 (February 2014)

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Minimum Wage is sort of like a sitcom where none of the people are particularly attractive or particularly funny. They aren’t actually funny with each other. It’s like if you had a sitcom with a bunch of Newman clones and they never told any funny jokes.

Obviously, Fingerman’s not just going for humor. He’s got a statement he wants to make about marriage, divorce, hippies, metal, Uzbeks and maybe video games. Not video games. Something else is in there. The Internet, maybe.

Some of the pages are paced really well, some of the details are slightly amusing. What’s strange is how Fingerman moves his character through this endless supporting cast. He hangs out with his main friends, then his girlfriend, then some other friend, then some other friend, then the girlfriend again. Maybe if the protagonist was mildly interesting.

Oh, Fingerman’s got the guy’s internal monologue down.

It’s just trite.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Bob Fingerman; publisher, Image Comics.

Minimum Wage 1 (January 2014)

Minimumwage1 review 1

Bob Fingerman sure does like holding on to a joke. The opening joke in Minimum Wage has one of the protagonist’s friends making joking advances on him. One of his male friends. Fingerman beats the joke with a stick, not just killing the funny in it–there isn’t any to start–but also looking desperate.

Except once that opening sequence–the lead, Rob, going out to a night club after breaking up with his wife and moving back home with his mom–once it’s over, Wage gets a lot better. Fingerman does go so much for actual jokes as he does for mood and tone.

The art’s fully realized, even if it’s just Rob sitting around on dating websites. The opening missteps seem like someone trying too hard. The rest is someone being very assured and chill.

Wage works out. It might even go somewhere interesting… if Fingerman lets it.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Bob Fingerman; publisher, Image Comics.

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