Keiler Roberts celebrates the release of her new graphic novel, My Begging Chart. Keiler is joined in conversation by special guest Jessica Campbell (Hot or Not, XTC69) to discuss the new book.
Keiler Roberts mines the passing moments of family life to deliver an affecting and funny account of what it means to simultaneously exist as a mother, daughter, wife, and artist. Drawn in an unassuming yet charming staccato that mimics the awkward rhythm of life, no one’s foibles are left unspared, most often the author’s own.
When Roberts considers whether or not to dust the ceiling fan, it’s effectively relevant. She can get lost in the rewarding melodrama of playing barbies with her daughter and will momentarily snap out of her depression. Her harmless fibs to get through the moment are brought up by her daughter a year or two later, yet without hesitation Roberts will request that her daughter’s imaginary friend not visit when she is around. Her MS diagnosis lingers in the background, never taking center stage.
In her most encompassing work yet, Keiler meditates on routine and stillness. The vignettes of her everyday life exude immense presence, making her comics thoroughly relatable and reflective of our all-too-human lives as they unfold with humor, sadness, and relieving joy. In transporting these stories onto paper, Keiler observes, and at times relishes, a fleeting present.
“ONE OF COMICS’ PREEMINENT HUMORISTS.”—AV CLUB
“Thoroughly entertaining… Roberts’s slightly warped perspective hilariously and poignantly reflects back to readers the transient absurdity of domestic life. Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Keiler Roberts makes autobiographical comics. She is the recipient of the Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize for Chlorine Gardens and is the author of Powdered Milk, Happy Happy Baby Baby, Miseryland, Rat Time, and Sunburningwhich was translated into Spanish as Isolada. Also the winner of the Ignatz Award, she teaches comics at The School of The Art Institute in Chicago.
Jessica Campbell is a Canadian artist based in the United States. Her fine art has been exhibited across North America and in 2019, she had a solo exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. An educator of comics art and history, Campbell has taught at a variety of institutions including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of the graphic novels Hot or Not: 20th Century Male Artists and XTC69.