Snake Pit 2009 – Ben Snakepit

3 out of 5

Diary comics are not my thing. I have zero idea if Ben Snakepit’s daily, 3-panel scribbles are better or worse in comparison to other things in the scene, but I was pleased at how inoffensively easy they were to read. For me, maybe a more ideal version of this would have some carryover from strip to strip, but I accept how the style Ben affects – which is generally pretty flat, “I went to work / I went home / I ate dinner with my girlfriend”-style narration – is also pretty representative of how life works: days are the same; we don’t consciously craft a narrative. And I’d guess that’s also just a purposeful part of diary comics. And we do see Ben occasionally questioning his desire to continue the comics, which, in 2009 he’d been doing for near a decade, so there’s evidence of something more than just day-in-day-out repetition, if minimally.

Every strip has a soundtracked song and a date, which makes reading through things less monotonous as well; there’s no artistic progression, though, and Snakepit’s shorthand visualization of certain things – when playing video games, he’s always a cartoony pile of poop, for example – starts to feel somewhat lazy… accepting that daily cartooning is, I’d guess, more of an exercise in consistency than something demanding flourish.

You get an afterword, and some DIY touches on the inside covers – zine-ish copies of reviews and whatnot. If you’re like me, and not an active reader of these things, I don’t know if I can say there’s anything especially notable about the collection, but it’s also a breezy read, and a reminder how many of our lives – Snakepit is in like 20 bands in these pages, watches tons of movies, works a lot of hours at his job, remains active with his dog and engaged with his girlfriend; i.e. he’s actually pretty busy – can be boiled down to the routine, if you were to try to script them out into daily comics.