There are certain creators who are buy-on-sight for all of us. That goes for novels, comics, and movies too. One graphic novelist’s work I can’t help but pick up is Lucy Knisley, who blew up the comic scene with her incredible work Relish. Her ability to mix autobiographical moments with teaching on a subject is unparalleled and it’s all done via her incredibly endearing art style. In her latest book Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos, out now, Knisley explores the wonderful world of childbirth, revealing her own journey in all its quirks, scares, and joys.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
This moving, hilarious, and surprisingly informative memoir not only follows Lucy’s personal transition into motherhood but also illustrates the history and science of reproductive health from all angles, including curious facts and inspiring (and notorious) figures in medicine and midwifery. Whether you’ve got kids, want them, or want nothing to do with them, there’s something in this graphic memoir to open your mind and heart.
Why does this matter?
I learned a lot about childbirth as well as the myths that go with it by reading this book. It’s amazing how much about childbirth isn’t commonly known and even in this book there are things still yet to be understood. Knisley is helping push forward that conversation here. Also, read my review of Lucy’s last book Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It’s fascinating to follow an artist like Knisley because we feel so close to her after reading her other books. There are books focused on being single so when you get to this latest book about her being happily married and with a child it’s quite a journey we’ve gone on with her. This out of all her books might be the most harrowing, nerve-racking, and intimate. Knisley reveals how she had miscarriages, the difficulties she had while pregnant that possibly outweigh many other pregnancies, and then that all culminates into one tragically scary event that transpires when she actually gives birth. All in all, the narrative of this story is quite epic and will make you feel closer to the creator.
The factoids inserted into this book are excellent too. Chapters dubbed, “Hey look. More pregnancy research” are sprinkled throughout the collection allowing Knisley to take a break from her autobiographical chapters and deliver real-world knowledge. Or, in some cases real-world myths people actually believe. These sections talk about history, the state of the modern medical industry, and more to help give readers a big picture idea of pregnancy. These sections also allow Knisley the ability to get a bit more creative with her layout designs since it’s less a story and more facts and knowledge.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Not everything here is airtight entertainment. Certain sections can drag, especially earlier on when Lucy’s husband takes over and gives his perspective. Much like any truly honest autobiography, the real-world truth of boredom and uninteresting aspects come through.
Is it good?
This book is very much a great start for anyone thinking about having a child or experiencing pregnancy for the first time. I might even wager it should be put on as many lists as possible since it’s so quintessential to the experience and filled with so much great information.