Sofia Szamosi’s Unretouchable is shaping around be probably the most memorable debut graphic novels recently. It is a book that’s already inviting comparisons to Persepolis, and not simply due to the similarities to Marjane Satrapi’s art style. It is a graphic novel that tells a deeply personal story set contrary to the backdrop of a cutthroat industry.
Unretouchable follows the story of Olive, students who lands an extremely desirable internship at an electronic photography company. Unfortunately, the glamour and mystique are quickly replaced by disappointment and self-loathing as Olive discovers the amount of the style industry depends on image editing software and virtual models to generate the illusion of physical perfection. Olive’s internship becomes an individual odyssey as she struggles to disengage from the web and figure out how to accept herself.
IGN can debut a special preview of Unretouchable, that is obtainable in stores now. Take a look in the slideshow gallery below:
Unretouchable: Exclusive Graphic Novel Preview
Unretouchable is heavily inspired by Szamosi’s own experiences as an image editing intern
“In 2016 when I did so the internship that inspired this book, I became increasingly alienated with the planet of digital images,” Szamosi tells IGN. “The allure was gone, nothing looked real. Whether a beauty ad or someones Instagram selfie, the divide between your commercial and interpersonal was blurred to oblivion- everything looked like exactly the same shameless promotion, advertising to someone or other.”
Szamosi continues, “I found feel that social media marketing provided an illusion of connection that truly stood in the form of more meaningful interactions. Social media marketing was my lonely island – a method to look out and appearance down on others, removed and protected from the risks of human contact. I’m so spongy, constantly absorbing and spewing out the visual world around me. Social media marketing preys on my vulnerabilities to help keep me mindlessly scrolling and purchasing, and on the way Im bathing in a variety of cultural norms and ideologies I would not like. And, beneath all of the energy it requires to generate and consume digital content, an environment of creative energies lies dormant. There exists a cost to all or any this visual stimulus, in fact it is a deadening of my very own creative voice.”
For Szamosi, the true challenge was finding some type of balance – benefiting from the human connection and career opportunities social media marketing provides without having to be dragged back to the black hole that’s living life “always online.”
“I stayed off social media marketing for a couple years; it had been invigorating, productive, and best for my soul. But so long as I reside in a world filled with other folks, writing off social media marketing forever isnt sustainable. Especially not when I’ve a book to market! 😉 I see plenty of evil at the job on social media marketing; gleam large amount of art, joy, connection, and fun. And there’s the amount of money. My workload today carries a part-time job in social media. Diving deep in to the world of trends, hacks, and the type of algorithms, I’m finding another solution to process my social media marketing alienation – to create money off it, and discover the interesting parts.”
Unretouchable is published through Lerner Publishing Group’s Graphic Universe imprint. The book comes in both hardcover and softcover versions and may be purchased through Amazon along with other retailers now.
In other comic book news, DC finally revealed the Joker’s real name after 80 years, and IGN recently spoke with Fantastic Four: BACK TO WHERE IT STARTED creator Alex Ross about how he really wants to start to see the FF built-into the MCU.
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