August is Top Shelf Month, and as part of that, we’ll be running in-depth interviews with the incredible creators behind Top Shelf Productions’ most exciting books!
Today we chat with Will Dinski, whose book, Fingerprints, is out now! Fingerprints deals with obsessive love, plastic surgery, and the science-fiction-like cult of beauty. Read on for Dinski’s insights into modern life and his most prominent influences:
TFAW.com: What is Fingerprints about?
Will Dinski: That’s always a difficult one for me to answer. In a nutshell, it’s about the sudden downfall of a successful plastic surgeon. But it also touches on celebrity culture, art and beauty.
TFAW.com: It deals a lot with plastic surgery–is this a commentary on the increasing popularity of elective surgery? What do you think about it?
WD: I can’t say that I’m completely against it or that there is no place at all for cosmetic surgery. For example, burn victims or people who have just been through very traumatic accidents benefit greatly because of medical procedures that can change a person’s life.
However, there are things like this woman who is having her entire face redone in order to look like Jessica Alba. It’s permanent. And disturbing.
TFAW.com: What kind of research did you do for the book?
WD: I read the very good Flesh Wounds by Virginia Blum. She writes about cosmetic surgery from a very sociological perspective, and was able to explain the thought process of someone who would drastically alter the way they look through surgery.
She writes about a procedure that some Chinese people would undergo to alter the way their eyes look. The surgeon would reduce the lower eye lids in an attempt to make their eyes more “American” looking. They would have this complicated surgery in order to better fit in with the culture around them.
TFAW.com: What were you hoping to achieve with Fingerprints?
WD: Gobs of money. Just gobs of it. Also fame.
TFAW.com: What made Fingerprints a good fit for Top Shelf?
WD: I’ve always known Top Shelf to be a strong supporter of cartoonists/artists who have a singular vision for their work, and the cartoonists they publish are a reflection of Brett and Chris’ finely tuned tastes. I feel very fortunate to be published by them. It’s a great place to be.
TFAW.com: How did you get involved with comics?
WD: I just always have. I’d be hard-pressed to think of a time when I didn’t have the need to tell some kind of story through comics. Some people collect stamps or like to fix cars. Everyone has a passion of some kind.
TFAW.com: What did you start out reading? What were your influences?
WD: Early on, I would read mostly newspaper strips. The comics pages were a pretty magical place for a kid when Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side were regular features.
Later, it was a lot of Batman comics. I think I liked that I could afford to buy them with my own money from the grocery store. I also liked that Batman didn’t have superpowers.
TFAW.com: What types of things do you read now?
WD: Unfortunately, not that many comics. I read a lot slower than I used to, so I stick mostly to research reading for future stories. So a lot of non-fiction books. I’ll cut loose with a classic sci-fi book every once in a while.
Genesis by Crumb was really mind-blowing. It is my most favorite book by him.
TFAW.com: You’re known as being part of the “Twin Cities comics scene.” What’s it like out there?
WD: It’s cold in the winter and humid as hell in the summer.
Minneapolis/St. Paul is a great place to be a cartoonist. Because of the art college here (MCAD) new cartoonists move to town every year. This will be the inaugural year for the Minneapolis Indie Xpo, the city’s first independent comics festival. This area in general is well known for being friendly to the arts, creative jobs and readers. Plus, it’s so cold in the winter I can get a lot of work done.
TFAW.com: What are you working on next?
WD: I’ll never tell! Talking about a project before it’s done is like putting a curse on it. I don’t want to risk it.
We want to thank Will Dinski for taking the time to answer our questions! You can order Fingerprints right here on our site. Remember, we’re offering 20% off all books from Top Shelf Productions this August, so place your orders now.
What do you think about the concept behind Fingerprints? Are you interested in picking up the book? Post your comments below!