Make Yourself Happy

Lucy Knisley shows her new book, Make Yourself Happy

One of my favorite C2E2 purchases was the latest volume from Lucy Knisley, reprinting over 200 pages of her black-and-white diary comics in Make Yourself Happy. It’s the followup to Radiator Days, similar in content but more recent, covering the past two years.

Lucy Knisley shows her new book, Make Yourself Happy

Lucy Knisley shows her new book, Make Yourself Happy

In it, she reprints her hourly comics from 2009 and 2010. (Every Wednesday in January, she draws two-panel comics every hour to show how her day is progressing.) There are also a number of references to French Milk. In addition to strips about getting an agent, republishing the book, and dealing with reviews and book tours, she went to Paris again in 2009 with her boyfriend John and kept another travel journal.

There are also several sections about food — comic recipes and a lengthy piece about fasting. Although, as you can see from my links, you can read much of this material online, I enjoyed having them all collected in print for its convenience, and I enjoyed reading every page.

To see why, you can read some of her color pieces at her Stop Paying Attention webcomic site. Her latest, “Game Over“, is shocking in its honesty. This strip sums up why I like her work so much — beyond the lovely drawings and impressive colors, there’s a willingness to expose herself that is welcome in how uncommon it is. Yet, she’s dealing with universal emotions that anyone can relate to. Often, while reading about her hopes, fears, and daily tasks, I either remember a time when I felt similarly, or thank my lucky stars that I’m past that point in my life.

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