Maximum Minimum Wage by Bob Fingerman
During its run in the mid-’90s, Minimum Wage racked up critical accolades and a devoted following, numbering among its fans Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, Dana Gould, Scott Aukerman, Margaret Cho, Janeane Garofalo, David Cross, and more. Why? Because each page boasted sticky, uncomfortable truths drenched in bleakly familiar humor. It was ‘cringe comedy’ before the phrase had been coined, presaging squirmy shows like Louie and Girls. Set in a New York so real you can practically smell it (so claimed Mike Mignola), Minimum Wage is the workaday saga of cartoonist Rob Hoffman and his firebrand girlfriend, Sylvia. He churns out strips for smut rags and off-brand MAD knockoffs and she languishes managing a hair salon. With their colorful crew of friends, they forge ahead against the brutal indifference of their hometown.