It is quite an audacious idea, a project that takes not only a very large time commitment, but also lots of introspection. Chronicling a full 365 days in your life. All in graphic novel form.
The real life story is about Beyer living in Chicago in 2011 and not liking it. The place does not suit her, so she decides in August of that year to move to Philadelphia.
What follows is a confessional diary, where Beyer every week draws a two page comic story detailing her actions, thoughts or feelings. Sometimes all that and more. Each spread is clearly labeled with the date and a small headline, giving us a glimpse of what is going on in this time frame.
Unfortunately Beyer spreads quite a bit of time at first leaving the city on trips all over, a situation even she admits is not the best for acclimatizing to her new locale. Eventually she does start living and enjoying Philly, and expands her fairly large network of friends into an even more robust tapestry.
This combined with Beyer’s frank discussions of her promising career as an illustrator, sometimes supplanted by odd jobs, makes her creative quasi-bohemian lifestyle come to life. When exhaustion occasionally overcomes her, it is not a surprise.
To add to the drama quotient, Beyer has to juggle what could be best described as a complicated romantic life. She is fully aware of these conundrums, and works to resolve them, with her pages acting as a confessional.
Bouncing from full page splashes to directly breaking the fourth wall contact with the reader to exchanging internet messages, Beyer tosses in artistic curveballs to keep challenging both herself and the audience.
With the success of this volume, Beyer already has another project on the way.
I sense every more fun, entertainment, and soul searching with her next tale.
…is currently reading Are you there God? It’s me Margaret by Judy Blume.