A wry daily comics journal of urban ennui
Gabrielle Bell fascinatingly documents the mundane details of her below-minimum-wage, twentysomething existence in Brooklyn, New York, with a subtle humor. Her simple, unadorned drawing style, heavy narration, and biting wit chronicle transient roommates who communicate only through Post-it notes; aspiring artists who sublet tiny rooms in leaky, greasy broken-down border-house loft apartments crawling with bugs, cats, and bad art. Bell tackles a string of forgettable, unrelated jobs–including nude modeling, artist’s assistant, art teacher, and jewelry maker–that only serve to bolster her despair, boredom, and discomfort in her own skin.Bell’s self-scrutiny leads her to dream sequences that allow her to rise above her banal actuality and hyperawareness. She fantasizes about her vision of a perfect world as she becomes the accomplished artist and world traveler she longs to be. Bell’s daily comics allow her to escape the harsh, judgmental gaze of the world and the monotony of daily life. Her unpolished art speaks to a desire to record all the messy details while the pain and confusion are still fresh.
Coming of age amid the zine revolution, cartoonist Gabrielle Bell has been creating her comics to much acclaim, even winning an Ignatz Award for the self-published serialization of Lucky.