This book is about what the title implies: plastic surgery. Only it’s a bit different, as it forms a persons head in a much more weird and random way. It’s a science fiction sort of tale, but is it good?
Masterplasty (One-Shot) (Image Comics)
After reading this book I suspect James Harvey is a name you don’t know, but will hear a lot of in the coming months. The man currently has a project going on where he inserts The Simpsons into pages of Akira, has an ongoing Image series coming and generally has a very different style of storytelling. If this issue is any indication, the man does not work in the school of traditional layouts for starters, and it’s this playing around with layouts that makes his book so interesting to read.
Interesting chat box sidebar.
The comic opens on three college aged folks talking at a diner about how people of similar level of attractiveness seem to stick together. This irks the protagonist who goes to a masterplasty specialist. This is a new technology that changes your face. A piece of cartilage at the center of the brain is stimulated to alter the entire physical appearance of the host body. It is a very weird thing to see as it augments our protagonist in odd and grotesque ways.
In a sense I suspect Harvey is delivering a bit of commentary on plastic surgery in general and how disgusting a thing it is in the first place. His statement becomes ever more obvious when the protagonist dates a girl who gets all her treatments taken away as her billionaire father loses everything due to tax evasion. Instead of being a preachy comic, however, it is wild, interesting and fun due to the art. The story is basically a cautionary tale about identity and how we look. Vanity is a great destructor of happiness and it’s ever more present in the imagery here. Hell, even when the girlfriend gets the best results she looks scary.
Shit gets weird.
The comic ends with a Q&A between Harvey and his friends and this reveals his intentions for the book, but also has a sense of humor. One question for instance asks about how long masterplasty can make your penis, while another asks whether Harvey has sympathy for those who change their bodies to be accepted in society.
Speaking of those layouts, the comic is just gorgeous. Turning the page you have no idea what you’re in for, from a full page image of a monstrous masterplasty failure, to an interesting shot through a beautiful woman’s hair as the protagonist screams at her. The imagery is always compelling and a feast for the eyes. That includes the two backup stories that follow the Masterplasty story and Q&A. One is about an odd giant baby thing that messes with a woman and her baby and a Noah’s Ark tale where all the animals cross breed and create monster creatures.
That can’t be healthy.
Is It Good?
This is a feast for the eyes wrapped in a cautionary tale that’s relevant in today’s society. To cap it all off there are two backup stories that are bizarre and interesting in their own right. A must buy for indie fans and anyone interested in the weird.