From The Ashes issue 1
by Bob Fingerman
I like Fingerman, his comics are consistently funny and interesting and he never sticks too long to any one subject. And seeing From The Ashes on the racks this week was a pleasant surprise.
End of the world tales are hardly new, but a fictional autobiographical end of the world memoir is at least different. Fingerman and his wife Michelle wake up one morning, miraculously alive amidst the rubble of a devastated New York. They’re happy to be alive, he’s happy that he’s finally rid of his temperamental computer and his wife’s permanantly switched on, always distracting Blackberry.
(From The Ashes page 1 by Bob Fingerman. Lovely colour effects on his pages, blue for past, brown for present nightmarish world.)
Fingerman and Michelle make their way through ruined New York with near pleasure at what they see as a new found freedom from the things that held them back in 21st century existence. Pacts are made (no cannibalism) and a symbolic throwing away of the Blackberry seems to finally put their previous life behind them. Sadly for the pair, it seems not everyone’s quite so organised and libertarian about this post apocalypse situation:
“But they’ve resorted to cannibalism”
“It’s only been a couple of days!”
“One shudders to think how many seconds it took before they started drinking their own urine.”
And that’s got the entire tone of the comic down quite nicely. Fingerman’s using his post-apocalyptic tale to tell a very human story, with Mr & Mrs Fingerman taking centre stage and getting all the best and funny lines. But there’s moments of quiet reflection on what has happened, explorations of what they’ve lost, flashbacks to counterpoint the bleakness of the situation they find themselves in and much more, all within just the first 26 pages. I read a recent interview with Fingerman somewhere recently where he talked about this being an open love letter to his wife, and I can see what he means; Michelle is no passenger here, she’s an essential part of Fingerman’s life off the page and he’s doing great credit to her with her portrayal on the page here.
(A nightmare post-apocalyptic New York, Bob and Michelle Fingerman may be the last two people on Earth and yet, they still find time for romance. Love is grand isn’t it?)
The art is Fingerman’s usual style, very easy on the eye, cartoony but detailed and with the added richness and subtlety of the added colour overlays, subtle brown for the post apocalypse and a blue for the past. It’s rich and comforting artwork for what looks to be an excellent series.
Bob Fingerman has a From The Ashes blog.