Herman By Trade Graphic Novel Review

HBT1Herman lives the life of an average street cleaner. An average man doing an average days work. This is only actually a very small portion of what Herman is and what Herman can do. When the cult film maker Mio comes to town for the screening of her masterpiece GARE, he has to go along. The film is legendary in the art world and he wants to see it. He wants to explore its world of performance and magic, illusion and imagery. Mio has an ulterior motive for attending however. She lets all in attendance know that she is holding an open audition for the sequel to this great work. She wants to explore the world of post- GARE world of performance. She wants to do that and wants someone from the audience to help her. Herman wants nothing more than to be that someone, to be that person to open the new world up to her. You see his talent is that he can become anyone, he can become anything he so wills to be. At anytime and instantly.

HBT4Conjure in your mind if you will a dream. This dream must simply be that of a day like any other. A day that is held by the sun and clear. It must be also filled with space but no with time. Then allow a vast group of performers to walk past you in succession. these travel rapidly and will feel frenetic. A series of images that blur to shape nothing concrete but give you something to establish. Something that might be real, as if the world surrounding it is a lie. Something that may really be far more transforming then the substance we see as reality. This is the world as if it were at war with self and other. This is Herman By Trade. It is a book that wonders of the form of art and the form of the self held within art.

HBT3Art is seen as morphing between states of joy, wonder and failure. This book at its best, challenges the way art is used. Challenges the way we export our self into a work and then define through it what we think, feel and understand. We see through Herman’s journey, the voyage of discovery when entering a work. It is powerful and the story limits itself to define this without adding to much to distract. It is in a phrase, a beautifully told story with wonderful depth and dreamlike magic. Kim has allowed the visual to absorb the subtext. He has given it such depth and subtlety. Kim uses the visual flow engagingly. Never over composing an image  and never under utilizing the space. It is by far the best work I have seen this year.

ISBN: 9781910593288
Available: May 2017
Binding: HB
RRP: £14.99
Size: 170×240
Extent: 120
Colour: Black and White

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