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Radiator Days

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  398 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
A collection of journal comics by popular cartoonist Lucy Knisley.

I used to live in a small apaertment in Chicago, where the radiator hummed noisily while i drew comics. The comics in this book were made over a two-year period that seems to consist of constant winter. They were drawn to the tune of the radiator's hum.
Paperback, 316 pages
Published May 11th 2008 by Epigraph Publishing
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(showing 1-30 of 1,062)
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David Schaafsma
I liked Knisley's Relish best. I also have read French MilK and her other memoirs and travelogues and I am attracted to her artistic style. Sort of seduced by the color and flair.

This book is a collection of early black and white stuff from when she was living in Chicago, when it was too cold (for her! Hey, I am in Chicago and like it!) and she drew to the accompanying sound of the radiator. Her work is fresh and attractive at this point, even if rough sometimes. Of course she gets better at ev
Sep 29, 2011 Abbey rated it liked it
Shelves: comix
I really love Lucy Knisley's illustrations, and for the most part - I really enjoyed this book. I only give 3 stars due to the haphazard nature in which these comic were put together. I know that's supposed to be the whole "sketchbook" feel, but I think the comics could have been arranged more cohesively. Also, 5 stars for all autobiographical comics, and the rest - eh.

Still recommend checking it out! And I would also like to give it a re-read. I repeat, her illustrations are totally awesome.
Sep 15, 2013 Elise rated it did not like it
I am rating this 1 star, because according to GoodReads, that means "I did not like it". And I really did not.
I have read many graphic novel memoir type books, and enjoyed nearly all of them. So I understand the diary aspect, I get the genre. But I did not like this book. I think to enjoy any memoir, you must to some extent enjoy and appreciate the writer. I've read 2 other books by Lucy Knisley, and I guess I just don't like her. I did enjoy Relish, but that book is rather different than this o
Jun 19, 2014 Mireille rated it liked it
I liked the personal journaling stuff but didn't like the fiction at all. In general it would have benefitted from more of a structure. It felt like she just dumped everything she drew in those years and put it in a book.

This is my third book by Lucy Knisley and I have to admit I only really loved one of them. But since it was the latest, I can only hope it means she's getting better and better? I do like her website stuff. Anyway, will probably give An Age of License: A Travelogue a try anyway.
Feb 23, 2011 Donovan rated it really liked it
"Is this about art school?" he asked with disdain, barely holding the book as if it would infect him with something nasty. "Well, she does go to art school, but I wouldn't say it's ABOUT art school. It's more 'slice of life' than that. Windows into her world. Some of those windows look in on school." He flipped it open to a random page. "This is about critiques." He looked at me pointedly, as if he had won something, caught me in a lie that indeed the book was nothing but art school nonsense. It ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Alenka rated it really liked it
I've read a bunch of Lucy's other stuff, so it was fun to go back and look at work from earlier in her career! This is a collection of autobio comics from her last year of college, summer spent working as a cheese monger, and her time in graduate school. There are lots of gems, like the little comic about the personalities she assigns to the cheeses or the little fiction story about the bridesmaids that get trapped in the elevator. It's light hearted for the most part; another fun, charming, laz ...more
Feb 27, 2011 Vicky rated it really liked it
Recommended to Vicky by: Thank You, Barbara Trinh
Shelves: comics, chicago
Lucy was at Quimby's last night and even though this book was published some years ago probably, I had this idea she was still in Vermont, so when she said, Hi I'm Lucy, I was like, oh, she's not in Vermont, and it took me a second to wonder if I should be like, Heyyy, I was just reading your book and I like it, etc. I don't think I communicated it well, but for the Goodreads record—I like it. I am adding it to my how-to-be-23 reading list.
Jan 04, 2010 Bella rated it it was amazing
Having read French Milk I already knew I liked how Lucy Knisley interpretated her life through comic style images, so this time to get a taste of her combining multiple styles, and a variety of short stories was really cool. She's a person I think most people could connect easily with on some level, I know I definitely have similarities to her, and how she thinks in particular.
Jared Houston
Jul 14, 2013 Jared Houston rated it liked it
Shelves: comix
This reminded a little bit of "Girls." In that it was a lot about millennial post graduate anxiety. Also being a girl can be tough. Also food service is the WORST!
Jul 04, 2015 Wendle rated it really liked it
Part journal, part fiction the stories have a nice mix. On the whole i think i preferred the journal-type comics, because they gave me more of a sense of the author, why she drew these comics and what she herself was getting out of it. I particularly liked the comics covering one day, with two panels per hour, as well as the ‘Summer Journals’ which covered a couple of months, a one-page comic a day. The fictitious comics ranged from sweet and serious to bizarre and funny. The ones that stick wit ...more
Andy Shuping
Aug 27, 2011 Andy Shuping rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Lucy Knisley is one of my favorite young artists. She has a way of looking at the world and instantly making you feel like you're a part of the scenes that she depicts, even if you weren't there or really have no idea what's going on. She has the ability to quickly get to the heart of the matter and show warmth in humor, even if it's a low point in what she's showcasing. In this book Lucy shares with us short comics from a two year period, and in the dedication shares that many of them were draw ...more
Brandi Johnson
I don't think the subject matter of these comics is all that exciting (a collection of comics she created while attending art school in Chicago) but I just really adore her style of drawing. I also love that I'd be reading along and turn the page and BAM! there's a penis! Kept me entertained, although I'm bummed a friend burst my bubble and told me Fox & Obel is closed. Lucy's experience working at their cheese counter made me curious to visit the shop.
Dec 18, 2015 Matisse rated it it was amazing
Knisley's 'Radiator Days' was a blast to read. It's simply two years worth of comics, unrelated to each other, and compiled into this collection. We get diary comics, short narratives, family things, cameo appearances from Bryan Lee O'Malley and Hope Larson, absurdist humor, and at times, some oddly sexual stuff, too. You finish 'Radiator Days' with that false sense of closeness to Knisley that Derrida's always warning us readers about. =)
Ben Russell
May 01, 2016 Ben Russell rated it liked it
Towards the end, I enjoyed the comics a lot more. I'm not sure if the art style became more consistent, or of the comics began to make more sense, but the end was better than the beginning. I wasn't a huge fan of the lack of cohesion between the comics, but considering this was more an anthology of college projects and random tidbits, there's always going to be a lack of cohesion. Nevertheless, it was definitely an enjoyable read.
Apr 29, 2015 Jordan rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I feel like I have just discovered a hidden gem, like the Lucy Knisley b sides. I really enjoyed this book because it shows how much Lucy has grown as an artist and a writer. You can definitely see how she is trying things out and testing ideas and how she has developed. There are some excellent stories in there and I liked getting to see them.
Tom Franklin
Jun 02, 2015 Tom Franklin rated it liked it
A catch-all collection of comics that didn't quite seem to fit elsewhere. Some are quite good (the story about a used book store employees last days as the store closes in particular) while others are just okay. There's some of Knisley's signature journaling as well. All in all, for me this was a hit-or-miss collection.
Jul 26, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
One year ago, I bought this book at the Printer's Row Lit Festival in Chicago. Lucy Knisley, the author, happened to be there and signed the book for me. I'm sorry it took me this long to read the book because it was delightful. The concept behind the book is that it contains drawings and cartoons Lucy did while sitting by her noisy radiator in her Chicago apartment. So the comics in here are not part of a unified story, but there are some small tales here and there. I liked the comics best when ...more
Oct 20, 2014 Shoshanna rated it liked it
Sometimes I was a little bored with the quotidian feeling of this collection of short comics. A friend of mine makes a good point of this author, that he hasn't read a real story of hers yet. That said, these comics, each on their own, is great. It's just a lot of the same thing. :P
Darcy Rohwer
May 21, 2016 Darcy Rohwer rated it liked it
Shelves: graphics
This is a collection of her older and random work. I liked it, but not as much as her regular work. It felt a little bit like riffling through the first few posts on someone's tumblr. Like you love their work and it's interesting to see how far they've come, but it's not your favorite thing. There were some things I laughed out loud at and also some things that made me go 'meh'.
Dec 19, 2015 Emily rated it liked it
I've been reading this bit by bit over breakfasts for the last week or so, and it was a great book for that kind of reading. I love journal/autobio slice of life comics and hers are excellent. This collection isn't nearly as well polished as her other books or some of her web comics, but worth a read if you like her work.
Dec 28, 2014 Kathleen rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I love Lucy Knisley, so it's fun to read her early work. This is essentially a collection of her sketches from college - good, but nothing compared to the work she's doing now.
Eleanore M.
Apr 07, 2015 Eleanore M. rated it liked it
I enjoyed this one! Very, very endearing, and I personally related with a lot of the emotion she expresses in some of the comics.
Jun 08, 2013 Harris rated it really liked it
This was a fun and diverse collection of short comics, including diary strips, fictional vignettes, and sketches representing several years of Lucy Knisley's career. Here, Knisley really demonstrates her ability to draw comics in a variety of styles, from the stylized, to the cartoonish, to the more realistic. Her writing is equal parts humorous and relateable, with witty asides that I found highly amusing, though none of the variety comic experiments last too long. The seeds of Kinsley's later ...more
I enjoyed most of this collection of Lucy Knisley's early comics, drawn during her time studying at the Art Institute of Chicago and working as a cheesemonger at Fox & Obel. The cartoons in the middle got a bit porny, which gave me a rude awakening! And there was a lot of Lucy's typical 20-something existential crises about getting older (please!), wasting time and not knowing if all her efforts will come to fruition. The stand-out comic was the beautiful 50-pager about a secondhand bookshop ...more
Sep 23, 2015 Jimmy rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish it.
This details her times in Chicago as an art student so I was excited to get the perspective of someone who grow up in NYC and now lives in Chicago. Unfortunately she rarely spoke about Chicago. It is a collection of random stories and diary entries. I still enjoy her inner monologues, but the sex parts in this book led me to just stop reading it.
Hayley DeRoche
Nov 06, 2013 Hayley DeRoche rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Cute, if a bit simplistic. These are really mostly diary entries and comic doodles from during her time in undergrad art school, so there's a lot of early-twenties existential angst about grad school and career fears, which thank goodness I can relate to in the past tense. Some comics seem like school assignment filler, while others are genuinely sweet and make me really connect with the author and like her a great deal. Whatever, anybody who ships Jeeves/Wooster while daydreaming is ok in my bo ...more
May 13, 2015 Angela rated it liked it
Alexandra Neill
Sep 27, 2013 Alexandra Neill rated it really liked it
This is a cute little book. I love the way all Knisley's comics link together, letting me puzzle together this higgledy-piggledy picture of her life. It's nice watching her work develop through these comics and viewing it in the chronology of her work.

Maybe it's because I'm a 22 year-old, facing the end of university and the uncertainty of a career in the arts. Maybe it's because I relate to some of these comics a little too much. Whatever it is, I love spending time with Lucy Knisley.
Apr 10, 2013 Martyn rated it liked it
I had a problem with the liberal sprinkling of grammatical errors throughout this book (of the non-deliberate kind) and the relatively large amount of filler, but there are some fabulous stories here and the art is playful and fun; I just wish it was 100 pages shorter so that the good stuff could shine (and, clearly, some text editing would have been good too).

Apart from those gripes I did enjoy reading it, and I do like Lucy Knisley's art so I'd recommend trying it at least.
Elizabeth Thorpe
This is a totally uneven collection of juvenilia. For some reason (money?), many graphic novel/comics artists seem compelled to publish these (often terrible) collections of their early work. However, although the constant spelling mistakes are especially annoying, most of Lucy Knisley's work here is very, very good. I love her drawing style and her storytelling. I'll be interested to see what happens next in her career.
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Beginning with an love for Archie comics and Calvin and Hobbes, Lucy Knisley (pronounced "nigh-zlee") has always thought of cartooning as the only profession she is suited for. A New York City kid raised by a family of foodies, Lucy is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago currently pursuing an MFA at the Center for Cartoon Studies. While completing her BFA at the School of the ...more
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