I am almost embarrassed to admit that this the first time I have read a graphic novel.  Not out of any sense of superiority — quite the opposite.  I’d admired them from afar but always thought they were for people much more hip than me.  That and there is just so much reading to be done that one has to narrow it down somehow.  But when I read a recommendation of this book, I decided to break the cycle.

The narrator and hero is a genuinely eager, if naive, young man whose love of style leads him to a job in upscale retail.  He learns the art of convincing customers to buy and of setting displays, and realizes he is good at it.  Unfortunately that means other sellers on the floor see him as a threat.  Meanwhile, he has put his personal life on hold.  He is simply skating by in a comfortable but meaningless relationship, ignoring his talent and suppressing the ghosts of his past.  He thinks he can sweep it all away if he can just succeed in the world of garment retail.

Anyone who has ever worked in any sort of corporate setting will recognize the absurdity of it all.  The head honchos that seduce with promises of commission, promotions, better floor position.  They get you hooked.  Sina grace presents all of this with a dry humor.  in fact the early pages were reminiscent of David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries.

In the end, it’s a stark reminder to us all to steer clear of the machine, lest we get caught up in its gears.

Many thank to the folks at Image Comics for the review copy.

Price: $12.99
Diamond ID: AUG120476
On Sale: October 17, 2012

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