If you’ve read The Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel or the Smile webcomic, then you’re already familiar with the immensely talented work of Raina Telgemeier.

Take-Out is earlier work, a minicomic series of seven issues focusing on everyday memories. As subjects jump around from simple observations to incidents with deep emotional punch, you realize how accomplished she is as an artist. Her curvy, confident line work demonstrates her confidence. The result is comfortable reading… which allows it to all the more easily sneak under your skin.

Her stories are well-chosen and well-told, too. She’s not telling you about her life because that’s all she knows to draw about; she’s selected memories that have a point or a punch (or both). Detail individualizes them, but they’re often common experiences shared by many, so it’s easy to sympathize. Whether it’s leaving a new hometown to share holidays with the parents or the cruelty of young girls to each other, she’s tackling big subjects with skill.

Find out more at Raina’s website or her online comic archive. Issue #1 is out of print, but you can read one of its two stories, a Cat Comic with a marvelously fluid feline, online.

If you’re not sure whether to bother with her work, read Beginnings, an early story but still one of her best. It’s a powerful exploration in only three pages of how deeply she was affected by reading Barefoot Gen as a kid.

5 Responses to “Take-Out”

  1. ~chris Says:

    Though I already bought all then-available Take-Out issues from Raina at Comic-Con a couple of years ago, I would have a huge smile if she would release a collected edition. (And print editions of Smile as well, please!)

  2. Johanna Says:

    Oh, what a terrific idea! There was a minicomic of some Smile strips (I assume to promote the webcomic), but it would be great to have a big ol’ Book of Raina.

  3. ~chris Says:

    At this year’s Comic-Con, Raina had a mini, Earthquake Weather, containing a complete Smile story about the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. See her blog for front & back cover pictures.

    Oh, and I don’t have Take-Out #1. :-(

  4. Johanna Says:

    I don’t either — it apparently went out of print very quickly. Here’s hoping she’ll be at SPX so I can see Earthquake Weather!

  5. Minicomic Monday Clean-Up » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Raina Telgemeier’s newest minicomic features short bits she’s heard from kids while trying to teach them about comics. It reminded me of Stuart Immonen’s 50 Reasons to Stop Sketching at Conventions, only gentler. I especially liked the bits about kids’ reading habits. Probably because I already knew that kids don’t think manga is the same thing as comics. […]




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