Sofia Szamosi’s Unretouchable is shaping up to be one of the most memorable debut graphic novels of recent years. It is a book that already invites comparisons with Persepolis, and not only because of the similarities with the artistic style of Marjane Satrapi. This is a graphic novel that tells a deeply personal story against the backdrop of a cutthroat industry.
Unretouchable follows the story of Olive, a student who lands a highly desirable internship at a digital photography company. Unfortunately, glamor and mystique are quickly replaced by disappointment and self-loathing as Olive discovers how much the fashion industry relies on image-editing software and virtual models to create looks. illusion of physical perfection. Olive’s internship becomes a personal odyssey as she struggles to disengage from the internet and learn to accept herself.
IGN may launch an exclusive preview of Unretouchable, which is available in stores now. Check it out in the slideshow gallery below:
Unretouchable: exclusive preview of the graphic novel
Unretouchable is heavily inspired by Szamosi’s own experiences as a photo editing intern
“In 2016, when I did the internship that inspired this book, I became more and more alienated with the world of digital images,” Szamosi told IGN. “The allure was gone, nothing felt real. Whether it was a beauty ad or someone’s Instagram selfie, the gap between the commercial and the interpersonal blurred until the oblivion – it all looked like the same shameless promotion, advertising to someone or another.”
Szamosi continues, “I came to feel that social media provided an illusion of connection that actually prevented more meaningful interactions. Social media was my lonely island – a way of looking down and looking down on others, distant and protected of the risks of human contact. I’m so squishy, constantly absorbing and spitting out the visual world around me. Social media feeds on my vulnerabilities to mindlessly scroll and buy me, and along the way, I permeates all sorts of cultural norms and ideologies that I may not even like. And, beneath all the energy it takes to create and consume digital content, a world of creative energies lies dormant. has a cost to all those visual stimuli, and it’s a dampening of my own creative voice.”
For Szamosi, the real challenge was to find some sort of balance – to take advantage of the human connection and career opportunities offered by social media without being dragged back into the black hole of living “always online”.
“I stayed off social media for a few years; it was invigorating, productive and good for my soul. But as long as I live in a world full of other people, giving up social media forever isn’t sustainable. Especially not when I have a book to promote! 😉 I see a lot of evil at work on social media, there’s also a lot of art, joy, connection and fun. money. My workload today includes a part-time job in social media marketing. By diving deep into the world of trends, hacks and the nature of algorithms, I find another way to deal with my alienation social media – to earn money and find interesting games.
Unretouchable is published under the Graphic Universe imprint of Lerner Publishing Group. The book is available in hardcover and softcover versions and can be purchased through Amazon and other retailers now.
In other comics news, DC finally revealed the Joker’s real name after 80 years, and IGN recently spoke with Fantastic Four: Full Circle creator Alex Ross about how he wants to see the Joker. FF built into the MCU.
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