Liz Prince’s first full-length book, Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?, won the 2005 Outstanding Debut Ignatz Award. It was a pocket-size volume of observational strips mostly about her relationship. Her new book, Delayed Replays, is similar, with one big difference: the book is oriented horizontally, the better to reflect the direction of the comic strips.
Prince’s style is sketchy, with construction lines visible. Reading this small book feels like looking through a sketchbook or journal. She’s far from the only person doing this kind of slice-of-life comic, but her approach, while equally self-absorbed, is lighter than many. Instead of depression or self-pity, her work gives off an air of happiness or at least contentment. It’s cute and funny, most times, and many readers will find at least one incident that reminds them of themselves.
Particular favorites of mine were recognizing a boss’ speech pattern on Law and Order, her reacting to reviews, shared word jokes just between a couple, and the nothing feeling of ennui. She takes the other person for granted in the good way that long-term relationships develop. There’s also the occasional dollop of “too much information”, usually involving poor hygiene; goofy playfulness; self-referential strips about cartooning; and things her cat does. In short, there’s a wide variety of subjects captured briefly but with insight. Once read though, it’s a neat book to pick up occasionally and flip to a random strip, almost like a fortune cookie.