What has come before: Doesn’t matter. It’s all gone now.
In this book, writer/artist Bob Fingerman imagines a nuclear holocaust where he and his wife, Michele are among the few survivors. As they wander the irradiated wasteland that was once New York City, they run into many of the character archetypes that you would expect in a post-apocalyptic setting: mutants, zombies, cannibals and demagogues. What makes this story different from most dystopian tales is that the Apocalypse is played for laughs. And more often than not, it succeeds as a comedy.
Refreshingly, Fingerman avoids turning himself and Michele into Mary Sues. He depicts himself as a bit of a jerk from page one, but is somewhat redeemed in the reader’s eyes by his unwavering love for Michele. The more impressive trick may be how he keeps from filtering Michele through love’s lens and depicts her as a three-dimensional character with positive qualities as well as flaws.
This book is being marketed as a political satire, but I feel that this may be the story’s weak point. My political beliefs are close to Fingerman’s; I have no love for Bill O’Reilly or the Westboro Baptist Church. That said, the story seems to drag when caricatures of these… um, caricatures are attacked. Also, with O’Reilly becoming more irrelevant by the day, taking shots at him only serves to date the work. Besides, the protagonists and the original characters are far more interesting.
More after the break.
To further illustrate that this is a comedy, Fingerman draws everything in an exaggerated style reminiscent of Mad Magazine. In addition, color has not been used this masterfully since The Wizard of Oz. The art is monochromatic, giving the reader a sense of time and place in the narrative. And the one scene that is rendered in full color packs a massive punch.
Originally released as a miniseries, the collected edition of From The Ashes has tons of bonus features, including sketches, layouts, and a foreword by comedian Marc Maron. It goes on sale February 10th.
Recommended for: followers of the Huffington Post, The Daily Show, and/or Mad Magazine; people who thought “The Road” could have used more laughs.
Not Recommended for: fans of “The O’Reilly Factor” and/or the “Left Behind” novels.