From Publishers Weekly
This collection of short stories lacks some of the artistic sophistication of most books from art comics publisher Drawn & Quarterly—the drawings are, in fact, about as bare bones as it gets—but it still manages to be completely engrossing. Paradoxically, the stories are interesting—even addictive—because Bell has such a flair for communicating a specific brand of postcollegiate ennui. Her day-to-day existence is a litany of dilapidated rental apartments, low-paying jobs, yoga classes and artistic frustration, but Bell's straightforward storytelling reveals a true poignancy amid the tedium. Far from being depressing, these snippets of daily life in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, N.Y., are comforting in their frankness and familiarity; by settling into the rhythm of the artist's daily life, the reader experiences the heft of small victories and simple pleasures. Never laugh-out-loud funny, brief tales of yoga roommate miscommunication, ignorant comics buyers, the anguish of nude modeling, and sex-obsessed, adolescent art students radiate good humor and are sure to resonate with a certain stripe of well-educated, underemployed 20-something comic reader. Lucky
is yet another sophisticated, nuanced pleasure. (Sept.)
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Bell's autobiographical collection portrays concisely the trials, tribulations, and sweet successes of young adulthood and artistic maturation. An independent comics creator cited by her peers with an Ignatz Award for the serial version of this book, Bell takes readers along as she hunts doggedly for suitable living quarters in Brooklyn, fights depression that results from earning more as a nude model than as an artist, meets a series of fatuous potential and actual housemates, tries to sell her zines, takes unrewarding work with a commercially recognized cartoonist, and teaches art to children. Her tidy, black-ink images lay bare architectural oddities, human postures that are part of nonverbal communication, and perspectives ranging from the neophyte yoga practitioner caught in a knot to the surprisingly pleasant surroundings of an urban picnic. Further, her fantasy life is gently romantic and easy to enter. Her stories should appeal to pleased readers of Daniel Clowes or Adrian Tomine. They are palpably real and eloquently understated, with neither a wasted word nor an extra line. Francisca GoldsmithCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved