Thursday, August 1, 2013

Snake Pit Gets Old by Ben Snakepit

(Birdcage Bottom) I remember hearing that Ben’s new collection of his daily diary comics would feature strips done after he declared his decision to end the comic, perhaps resulting in more candid strips that were done without the public’s real time reaction. And I knew there were some monumental changes in Ben’s life during the period covered here regarding marital status, employment, and health (there was some online fundraising when he got sick). But once again, which should not be a surprise, Ben’s day-to-day life as described in strip form, involving working, practicing with bands, getting drunk and high, watching videos with his lady, is an exercise of blissful mundanity. Which is the point of the comic, but a point we all got several books ago. THAT SAID, there are moments of fresh artistic ambition here, including grand New year’s Eve drawings and dramatic renderings of important moments involving his relationship (and some genuine intrigue where he didn’t let the readers in on his plans…an actual narrative device!). So I guess I’d say this is the beat Snakepit book ever, but I’d add that it ain’t much better than the worst Snakepit book ever…which is a consistency few cartoonists can boast of.

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