Herman: street cleaner, illusionist, movie star
Herman is an introverted and unambitious street cleaner, his life as predictable as it is dull. Or so it seems to those he works with on the city’s waterfront. In fact, Herman is creative, curious and complex. What’s more, he has a remarkable hidden talent: the ability to transform his appearance at will.
An open casting call sees the city swept up into a frenzy of creative ambition. As a queue forms along the waterfront, Herman is emboldened to perform. But his decision to enter the audition room brings his creative and professional lives into conflict, and the consequences are irreversible.
Beautifully drawn, Herman by Trade is a captivating graphic novel about art, identity and making room for self-expression.
"Heartbreakingly gorgeous debut. A simple story of identity to which many will relate, this book stays with the reader, and Kim’s art leaves a permanent imprint." –Library Journal
Asking questions about art, creativity, and ownership, Kim's debut graphic novel follows a quiet, keep-to-himself street cleaner, Herman, who has a peculiar ability to transform his appearance: he can literally be anyone else. Herman gets the chance to put this ability to practical use when he meets a filmmaker, Mio, who seeks local performers for her new movie. Jam-packed auditions follow, enticing Herman to walk away from his former life and give a new one a try. Embraced by Mio, and used in the film more than expected, Herman's gift drowns out the talents of other performers and raises the observation that shape-shifting is not necessarily a creative power, but a derivative one. Soon, shape-shifting is criticized as unoriginal, and Mio's utilization of it threatens to enrage the community and damage her reputation. Kim's city unfolds in scratchy black and white, dominated by crowds and silence that sets the tone for this ruminative work. \n