Oops, yet another wee period of not blogging. I’ve been busy working away on my thesis (it’s taking shape, lads!), organising things as part of my internship (best job ever, 10/10 would intern again), and an exciting weekend away as part of the knitting podcast I co-host.
Anyhow. I ordered Something New and several other romance comics way back in February (which I will blog about soon- promise!), and was going to write about it, but it sort of overlapped with Commercialised Romance Day, so I held off posting, lest anyone worry about my general sanity. My workload then trebled, and I was actually rather enjoying being too busy to blog…But I digress. Here’s what I should have told you guys last month.
As part of my bid to “read more non-superhero stuff” (yeah, it’s a dead technical one), I ordered Lucy Knisley’s Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride. Disclaimer now: weddings have been on my mind lately. I’m not engaged, however one of my best pals is, and as one of her bridesmaids, I have occasionally fallen prey to buying wedding magazines and cackling at how utterly ludicrous the wedding market is. Genuinely hilarious. Anyhow, as Something New kept appearing in various targeted ads all over my social media, I bloody well fell for it. Not that I’m complaining. I’ve not read many autobiographical comics before, so that’s one big tick there, and to top it off, Something New is easily one of the most calming, sweet, and feminist comics I’ve read in a long time.
The premise of Something New is pretty simple. Knisley gets engaged, and talks the reader through her various adventures planning her wedding. There are anecdotes about her relationships with the groom, as well as her friends and family, Knisley’s thoughts and experiences as a bride (from dresses, food, and barn building, to feminism, gender, and sexuality), as well as the origins of various wedding traditions from around the globe, all interspersed with photographs taken before, during, and after the big day.
Knisley has a wonderfully friendly and honest voice, and her artwork is reflective of this. I particularly like the colour palettes used too- again, it is a welcome alternative to the glossy, brash colouring so often found in superhero comics. As with what I feel some of the best books out there do, reading Knisley’s book was akin to sitting down for a glass of wine with a friend. She doesn’t hold back, and shares a great deal about herself, her family, and her feelings with the reader; reading is an intimate experience here. Having spent the past few months idly looking at wedding magazines, blogs, and websites for my bride pal, I think that this book would be a greater resource. Knisley’s openness and willingness to share her experiences throughout her planning process are certainly a welcome alternative to the frankly neurotic and pressurising wedding magazines and websites I’ve come across so far in my bridesmaid duties.
I plan to reread this, there’s just something inherently relaxing about Something New. Another positive I found was that whilst the comic has an overarching timeline, it is possible to read chapters out of order and according to one’s whims. Doing so does not drastically alter readings. I very much recommend Something New- you do not need to be a bride or involved in a wedding to enjoy it- and I’ll definitely be pushing it into the hands of my bride pal at some point.