Author: Lucy Knisley
Published by: First Second
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Where I got the book: Public Library
After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend John due to differing opinions having children, Lucy Knisley wondered if she’d even find love again. Much to her surprise she did, when John walked back into her life three years later and proposed. Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride is Lucy Knisley’s latest graphic novel memoir, detailing her and John’s journey to matrimony.
Although having always wanted to start a family and have children, Knisley has always held a skeptical attitude towards the institution of marriage. Something New is her hilarious, honest and real look at the wedding industry and what marriage means to her and John as they attempt to put together a wedding that reflects their relationship and values on a time-limit and a budget. A balance between events, commentary and relationships, Something New is a real and refreshing story about a skeptic artist planning a wedding while trying to maintain some kind of creative control. From having to build a barn for the venue, planning everything from a different part of the country, and trying to find a dress that doesn’t feel like a Halloween costume, Knisley approaches everything with a comedic yet realistic tone. Although Knisley is better known for her travelogues and food memoir, Something New still retains some of her well known focus on food and sustainable, healthy eating, even including some recipes.
Drawn in Knisley’s characteristic clear and simple style with bright colours and minimal shading, Something New is a beautiful graphic novel. The art in Something New is some of Knisley’s cleanest, with well organized and beautifully laid out pages. Something New is artistically my favorite graphic novel by Knisley. It showcases her simple and colourful style without compromising readability. With the high caliber state of digital comics, it’s a distinctive style element to have little-to-no shading. Knisley’s simple and clean drawings are refreshing and balance very well with the autobiographical nature of her work.