I Wanna Be Literated #213

I Wanna Be Literated #213

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Tuesday, 11 February 2020
BOOKS

Dog Days of Snakepit
by Ben Snakepit

It’s easy to understate the subtlety of Ben Snakepit’s work. He’s like a centaur: a comic book artist torso powered by a punk rock body. There is no doubt that punk rock has shaped who Ben is and his perspective on life. The man has been in more bands that I either of us can count and I am a proud owner of his music. He’s also an all-around beloved guy. But maybe it’s his comics that are his most important artistic expression.

If you don’t know his comics, you should. It’s simply 3 panels chronicling his day, every day, for the past 20 years (give or take). It’s interesting, simple, and engaging. And you don’t have to be a punk, or young, or old, or a yuppie to appreciate it. I would know, because I’ve had many friends get hooked on them as soon as they open the page. And why wouldn’t they? Everyone can relate to these comics. Sure, it’s simplistic on the surface, but when you dig deeper, you find a mirror reflecting humanity. Ben’s life, like most of ours, is mostly monotony. Go to work, buy groceries, see friends, and partake in some leisurely activity. It’s the break from this pattern that stands out and sticks in our memory: a trip out of town, a death in the family, a romantic development, a change in lifestyle which puts us right back when we started. This latest collection Dog Days of Snakepit chronicles 2016-2018 and sees Ben going through a little of an identity crisis dealing with a demanding job, a death in the family, and the ups and downs of being in a long term relationship. It’s narrated in a simple style that everyone can appreciate, and is funny and witty more often than not. After you read through a couple months, you really start to feel connected to his life, like you would a friend. Because after all, are any of our lives really that different?

Like I said, it’s easy to understate how subtle Ben Snakepit’s work is, but it’s also easy to understate its importance. It’s a window into ourselves and humanity as a whole. Whoof. Powerful stuff. Just don’t tell him I said that.

Get it from an independent comic shop or from the folks at Silver Sprocket.

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