A charming comic memoir from a young cook and cartoonist. Creator Lucy Knisley walks us through her life so far, taking us from an early girlhood in NA charming comic memoir from a young cook and cartoonist. Creator Lucy Knisley walks us through her life so far, taking us from an early girlhood in New York City to growing up in the country, where her mother moved to start a garden and a catering business. Along with her early life, Knisley covers the meals that have meant the most to her, from chocolate-chip cookies to fresh-from-the-soil mushrooms.
It's an enjoyable read. Her voice and her art are fresh and appealing. The writing has a welcome enthusiasm as well as some nice side gags when it comes to the illustrated recipes. The art is expressive and clean, with a beautiful use of color.
At the same time, the story feels a little slight. Knisley is still very young when we reach the endpoint of this graphic memoir, and it didn't seem like there was enough experience here to add up to a fully realized narrative. Indeed, the story is as much about her parents as herself, and she's very careful to cast them in a positive light, even when their judgment may be questionable. (Her father's suggested womanizing, for instance, or her mother's perhaps overcasual care when traveling with teens in foreign countries.)
At the same time, despite her protests about being a broke student, Knisley seems a little blind to her own privilege. Not every wannabe foodie or artist gets trips to Mexico and Japan in under their belts before they're fifteen. Nor do they have an expert chef in their household, an extended culinary support network or lifelong access to gourmet treats.
Still, Knisley is very open, appealing and likable. I'd enjoy seeing other work by her when she's not the primary focus. Some sketches here of the kitchen at Alinea offer a start at a fascinating alternative....more