By Keiler Roberts. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.
Softcover, 156 pages, B&W, 2021.
“ONE OF COMICS’ PREEMINENT HUMORISTS.”—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 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.
Praise for My Begging Chart
[Keiler Roberts's] comics... are fairly existentialist. They feel like part of a mindfulness practice, exercised to keep the creator's mind on the world and her body and brain involved. If you slow down while reading them, they can do the same for you.The Comics Journal
Roberts doesn’t tell a story, rather she reveals the parts of life left out of stories. Slow but short moments that don’t really go anywhere but do have, at their heart, a hint of humor and character, that when put together across a book create a stronger, realer sense of a person than most traditional narratives can achieve. Roberts shows herself and her family at vulnerable moments.SOLRAD
Candid and funny, My Begging Chart finds whimsy in the minutiae of everyday life.Shelf Awareness
Thoroughly entertaining... Roberts’s slightly warped perspective hilariously and poignantly reflects back to readers the transient absurdity of domestic life.Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
My Begging Chart has a consistent emotional narrative. There is a sense of grudging acceptance of her circumstances that results in art that feels spontaneous, loose, and highly expressive.Rob Clough, High-Low
Roberts is blunt about the highs and lows of everyday life, imbuing moments of vulnerability with dry humor thanks to her sparse art style and understated storytelling.Chicago Reader
Her work gives off a kind of radical stillness. It always lowers my blood pressure... Keiler Roberts is my new hero.Christopher Borrelli, The Chicago Tribune
The wry wit and earnestness that makes [Keiler Roberts] a good teacher also makes her a good artist... [Her work] is so incredibly intimate.Chicago Review of Books
A powerful memoir that is instantly relatable as well as strangely moving.Broken Frontier
[Keiler Roberts's] comics collect the good, the not so good, and the silly, which make up the world around each of us.BlogCritics
From walking the dog to baking brownies, online shopping to making crafts in the basement, My Begging Chart by Keiler Roberts reveals a modern domesticity... It is clear that Keiler is sardonic and observant, perhaps unhappy but buoyed by the everyday interactions of her life.Another Chicago Magazine
My Begging Chart gently grounds itself in the bitter realisms of parenthood and illness, while displaying an astonishing amount of warmth and levity.AIPT