This Week's Read: Masterplasty / by Jaz Malone


Masterplasty is a one-shot issue by James Harvey that deals with societal pressure to look beautiful. The main character, a plain-looking guy named Tomo, spends thousands of dollars on a fancy new treatment in which plastic surgeons jiggle a node in their patient's brain, which immediately alters the person's physical characteristics. Of course, the treatment isn't very precise, so Tomo has to undergo "surgery" many times to achieve his desired effect. Once he's attractive, he dumps his girlfriend for Katariina, a woman who has gone through the treatment herself. Katariina is a clear exaggeration of modern beauty standards. Her legs are too long, her nose is so tiny that it's almost non-existent, and her eyes have been pulled so wide and tight that they might as well just be glued onto her face. As Tomo tries to keep up with his new life as an attractive person, his plans--and his looks--begin to fall apart.

According to Harvey, this is the first comic he's put out under his real name. If that's true, I can't wait to see what else he does. The way he handles the human form is intense; his drawings seem so malleable, yet startlingly believable. His coloring style is a callback to the old mangas, with heavy blocks of color, and texture indicating shade. Dude knows his stuff.

If you're looking for a quick, fun read, definitely pick this one up. The artwork alone is worth the purchase.