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Beg the QuestionReview - Beg the Question
by Bob Fingerman
Fantagraphics Books, 2002
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Feb 17th 2003 (Volume 7, Issue 8)

Beg the Question is a black and white graphic novel about Rob, a skinny guy in his early twenties living in Brooklyn. He works as a graphic artist, mostly working on pornographic comics to make a living. He has no illusion that what he is doing is art, and he wants to get more interesting work. He has a great relationship with his slightly older girlfriend, Sylvia; the two of them lust after each other most of the time and spend a good deal of time in bed. Rob also hangs out with his male friends, who are an odd collection of alternative-types who have known each other for a long time. Rob and Sylvia also spend time with each other’s families, and enjoy the sometimes dubious pleasures that New York City has to offer. Over the 230 pages, we get to see the complexities of their lives and various plotlines gradually develop. Author and artist Bob Fingerman clearly draws on much of his own experience for Beg the Question, and his characters are both believable and funny. The artwork is energetic and creative. The story really conveys a sense of Brooklyn life in the 1990s, and helps to explain why so many people have a love/hate relationship with the city. While the plot is very much about everyday life, it is varied and interesting. The dialog is especially strong, with some excellent diatribes against all that is wrong with the world. Rob is a likeable main character, and one cannot help hoping that his marriage to Sylvia, which ends the book, goes well. Recommended.

 

Link: Fantagraphic Books

 

© 2003 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


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