§ October 9th, 2023 § Filed under indies § 4 Comments

So like I was talking about in this post from last week, I find myself trying to pick between reading a lot of comics and getting the backlog cut down, or reading a single graphic novel in that same time.

Well, I finally decided to pick up Kate Beaton’s autobiographical graphic novel Ducks:

…and I’m only halfway through, but I definitely lost time Sunday evening reading this volume, looking at the clock, thinking “oh sure I’ve got time before I have to go” and then checking again and realizing “oops, I’m late.” That’s probably a sign of a good book, right?

It’s the story of Beaton’s post-college jobs in the Canadian oil fields, which she took to pay off student loans. It’s both fascinating in the details of the work she’s doing, and harrowing in the casual sexism and harassment a young Beaton has to face. It’s densely told, usually lots of panels per page, but it never feels cramped. And for my long-suffering eyeballs, the lettering and the black and white art are both crisp and easy for me to read.

Usually one should finish a book entirely before giving a recommendation, but even at the halfway point I feel confident telling folks this is one worth getting your mitts upon. I’ve long enjoyed her shorter humorous works, and I’m finding her longform dramatic storytelling to be just a compelling.

4 Responses to “Ducks.”

  • Thom H. says:

    I’ve been meaning to read this for forever. Thanks for the reminder. Local library, here I come!

  • Boosterrific says:

    I write this post only to reinforce the love for this book and encourage others to give it a look. I only knew about it because I saw Beaton promoting it before its release on a website that used to be called Twitter that I no longer visit, so more people screaming READ THIS probably couldn’t hurt. It’s probably worth noting that it won the 2023 Eisner for Best Graphic Memoir.

  • Craig says:

    This book knocked me off my feet. Living in Canadian oil country is a very particular experience, and I’m glad Kate Beaton shared the story. It’s powerful, harrowing, and educational. Beautiful work.

  • tomthedog says:

    I somehow didn’t know this existed, even though I love Kate Beaton’s work. Just downloaded it via Libby. Can’t wait to read it! Glad you let me know about it