Herman is a reclusive, straight-laced street cleaner - or so it seems to those he works with on the city's waterfront. But he has a miraculous hidden talent: the ability to transform his appearance at will. When the unsmiling cinematic genius MIO calls an open audition for her new movie, a queue forms along the waterfront. Days pass, and still the line remains: snaking past the industrial park, the beach, the shipyard, and beyond. On the fourth day, Herman joins it.
As Herman waits, swept up in the frenzy of creative ambition that has overcome the city, his past life becomes increasingly remote. By the time he enters the audition room, he might have lost his job, but his talent remains. Dazzled by Herman's ability to adapt to any role, MIO deems the rest of the cast redundant, sparking a furious outcry. When the cult director's new film premieres at the city's cinema, with Herman performing every role, it doesn't get the reaction she expects.
Spectacularly drawn, Herman by Trade is a captivating graphic novel about art, identity and making space for self-expression.