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For fifteen years, Ben Snakepit has documented his life in a three-panel comic (drawn poorly, by his own admission) and Manor Threat is his seventh book of collected strips, and it follows the same arc as previous books. Ben, who in “real” life has played in The Sword and J Church, goes about his day much like the rest of us- no money, bad job and trying to lose weight. But unlike most of us, Ben draws it all down- with a soundtrack ranging from D.O.A to The Slits and it’s hypnotic after you’ve read a few pages (I read the entire 285 page collection in one sitting).
He and his wife Karen’s main focus this time is upward mobility, which in the world of Snakepit, means getting a new job and moving from Austin to Manor, where the two buy their first house. Doesn’t perhaps sound like much, but he has the talent to open himself to the reader as he attempts to quit smoking pot, cutting the yard, or going to band practice- everyday stuff that people do. Sure, he gets a better job, which turns out to suck, and his car always needs repair, but hey, that’s living. Rarely has a rather hum-drum life been so effecting and relatable, and that’s Ben Snakepit’s true gift- he could be writing about you. One hopes of many more collections of Snakepit. Who knows what he’ll do next?
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