My Begging Chart
by Keiler Roberts
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 25 May 2021 | Archive Date 25 May 2021
Drawn & Quarterly, Drawn and Quarterly
“One of comics’ preeminent humorists.” —The AV Club
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 My Begging Chart, 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 humour, sadness, and relieving joy. In transporting these stories onto paper, Keiler observes, and at times relishes, a fleeting present.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 11 members
I intended to take my time with this comic but devoured it all at once instead because I couldn't stop reading; it's a really fun read. I often claim not to like comedy but I'm actually just hard to please, and Keiler Roberts's comics consistently make me laugh out loud. She's also an artist I feel very confident recommending to people who haven't previously considered themselves big comics readers, which is a special quality in a graphic novel.
An incredible book of autobiographical comics. This is my first dip into Roberts’ work but it won’t be my last. Readers who enjoy graphic memoirs will find it reminiscent of classics like James Kochalka’s American Elf or Jeffrey Brown’s Clumsy, with a spare black and white line drawing style, a revealing honesty, and lots of humour. It is especially interesting to read this confessional-style work from the perspective of a mother and a person with a disability. My Begging Chart is filled with slice-of-life moments, the little mishaps that propel us through the everyday. Roberts mistakes a Trolls-branded sunscreen stick for a glue stick, accidentally answers “no” when asked if she has children during a mammogram, and drops a bunch of her dog Crooky's medication into pancake batter. The book has a quiet reflectiveness between laughs, performing the slowing down of life experienced by someone with MS, but also allowing for reader self-reflection. We can't help but see ourselves as the figure laying on a bed, staring up at the ceiling. This style is enjoyed in a unique way during COVID-19 lockdowns, where for many of us everyday life inside the house has become all we have. I have continually been turning to diaries and diary comics in my reading to revel in the mundane and to spark new ways of seeing the same things. The Begging Chart certainly sparks a fresh way of seeing and allows a new enjoyment of the everyday. It is hard to come away from these comics without wanting to note down more of your own life, especially the silly things.
Keiler Roberts' deadpan humor is wonderful and her art is the perfect companion to it. This was an absolute joy to read.
An absolutely gorgeous and timely collection. Cabbage Dolls, sadness, sick dogs, childhood memories, and mundane life abound! I adored these tiny vignettes.
This is the first book that I’ve read by this author and I really enjoyed it. It was a perfect mix of humor and sadness and the drawings tied it all together.
I really enjoyed this memoir. Seeing a person's day to day life is fulfilling on a lot of levels. The humor sprinkled throughout made my day! Visually seeing the love Keiler's family shares is beautiful. The banter between the author and each of her family members, even the dog, is sure to put a smile on your face. The tenderness of the mother-daughter relationship will get you in the feels.