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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 73

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at Gabrielle Bell’s Lucky…

Enjoy!

Lucky, by Drawn and Quarterly, collects the three mini-comics of Gabrielle Bell’s auto-biographical comic of the same name.

I have written often about my admiration for Lewis Trondheim’s Little Nothings series (I featured it earlier this year as a “Cool Comic,” as well), and how Trondheim spotlights the seemingly mundane existence of everyday life, but upon collecting enough of them, like a pointillist painting, you suddenly have a striking portrait of a person’s life.

Well, think of Gabrielle Bell’s Lucky as being basically just like that, only Bell goes a bit more into depth about her everyday life than Trondheim’s snapshots, but the basic effect is the same.

Although, so long as I’m still discussing Trondheim, another interesting contrast between the two works is that while Trondheim’s stories involve the fact that he is one of the most acclaimed comic book creators in the world, Bell’s Lucky stories tell the tale of a struggling comic book artist barely eking out a living in New York City.

Lucky tells the story of Bell and her group of friends (and her boyfriend) as they attempt to make their way in the world while making very little money. Apartment hunting is a major activity, as they all seem to move constantly (since they can’t afford anything really good, it is more or less a “try this one out and see if it fits, then move on” approach).

Here are some samples of the work from Drawn and Quarterly’s website…

As I’ve said in the past, what I love most about Gabrielle Bell’s artwork is that she is an autobiographical artist whose work cuts to the core of the story rather than the surface – what i mean is, her style depicts the FEELING of a particular scene, rather than some photo-realistic view of what it it “should” look like.

She’s a strong storyteller who excels at sequential work without doing so in the traditional “superhero artist” sense – as a result, I find that her artwork often gets underrated as being more “functional” than anything else. I find it a good deal stronger than simply a functional delivery of her writing, even though I probably am most interested in her writing when it comes to her work.

I just love the way that she tells engrossing, heartfelt and deeply personal stories without ever seeming narcissistic – it’s quite a feat, and when it’s pulled off as nicely as Bell does it, it is worth crowing about.

She’s a remarkable comic book creator, and Lucky is a very cool comic.

8 Comments

Very great stuff. The last collection (I forget the name) had some of her work in colour and it was mindblowing.

Not narcissistic?

“Dear Diary,
Today I wrote in my diary.”

Yeesh.

This looks very interesting, Brian. I think that I will check it out.

Isn’t this the default genre/mode of indie storytelling when the creator is unable to actually create anything? Autobiographical comics are SO 2003. :)

“Dear Diary,
Today I wrote in my diary.”

Yeah. You either get it or you don’t,

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you have to be able to appreciate the fact that everyone has a story to tell, no matter how seemingly mundane it is. it comes down to how you actually tell it. yeah, it’s a diary entry, but i have to agree that strung together they become sort of relatable, voyeuristic and stronger as a whole.

its not so much an ‘unable to create’ thing as much as it is something more intimate than injecting this into a Superman story somehow. Kind of falls into the ‘write what you know’.

i think now tho id be willing to read this on a blog and not actually pay for it in print.

[…] A Year of Cool Comics – Day 73 | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic … […]

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