My Begging Chart

“One of comics’ preeminent humorists.” —The AV Club

Keiler Roberts mines the passing moments of family life to deliver an affecting and funny account of what it means to simultaneously exist as a mother, daughter, wife, and artist. Drawn in an unassuming yet charming staccato that mimics the awkward rhythm of life, no one’s foibles are left unspared, most often the author’s own.

When Roberts considers whether or not to dust the ceiling fan, it’s effectively relevant. She can get lost in the rewarding melodrama of playing Barbies with her daughter and will momentarily snap out of her depression. Her harmless fibs to get through the moment are brought up by her daughter a year or two later, yet without hesitation Roberts will request that her daughter’s imaginary friend not visit when she is around. Her MS diagnosis lingers in the background, never taking center stage.

In My Begging Chart, her most encompassing work yet, Keiler meditates on routine and stillness. The vignettes of her everyday life exude immense presence, making her comics thoroughly relatable and reflective of our all-too-human lives as they unfold with humour, sadness, and relieving joy. In transporting these stories onto paper, Keiler observes, and at times relishes, a fleeting present.

"I love the way… Keiler Roberts use[s] diary comics to endow small, throwaway moments with the dignity and weight of larger ones."—Liana Finck, New York Times

"I just cannot stop laughing when I read her comics because I feel like she has peered deep into my soul and [into] the absurdity of parenting life."—SLATE

"Roberts has the amazing ability to slow down time and focus on the smallest of moments... [My Begging Chart is] a refreshingly intimate portrait of family life."—NPR, Books We Love 2021

"What more can you ask from someone telling the story of her life?"—Chicago Tribune, Best Memoirs and Biography of 2021

"Thoroughly entertaining... Roberts’s slightly warped perspective hilariously and poignantly reflects back to readers the transient absurdity of domestic life."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Roberts is blunt about the highs and lows of everyday life, imbuing moments of vulnerability with dry humor thanks to her sparse art style and understated storytelling."—Chicago Reader

"Her work gives off a kind of radical stillness. It always lowers my blood pressure... Keiler Roberts is my new hero."—Christopher Borrelli, The Chicago Tribune

"[Keiler Roberts's] comics collect the good, the not so good, and the silly, which make up the world around each of us."—BlogCritics

"The wry wit and earnestness that makes [Keiler Roberts] a good teacher also makes her a good artist... [Her work] is so incredibly intimate."—Chicago Review of Books

Candid and funny, My Begging Chart finds whimsy in the minutiae of everyday life."—Shelf Awareness

[Keiler Roberts's] comics... are fairly existentialist. They feel like part of a mindfulness practice, exercised to keep the creator's mind on the world and her body and brain involved. If you slow down while reading them, they can do the same for you."—The Comics Journal

"Slow, prosaic, and deliberately casual, Keiler’s adeptness at carving the pie of her life into weirdly shaped, tasty little slices and serving it up is cumulatively impressive... [W]ith enough curiosity and dry amusement at the ludicrous nature of everyday life, [she] proves again and again that we can still be surprised, even if only by the excitement of the ordinary."—Women's Review of Books

"Their mother-daughter bond here is strong despite daily annoyances, and Xia shares her mom’s wry sense of humour in a way that is sometimes shocking but always genuine."—Winnipeg Free Press

Roberts doesn’t tell a story, rather she reveals the parts of life left out of stories. Slow but short moments that don’t really go anywhere but do have, at their heart, a hint of humor and character, that when put together across a book create a stronger, realer sense of a person than most traditional narratives can achieve. Roberts shows herself and her family at vulnerable moments." —SOLRAD

I love the way… Keiler Roberts use[s] diary comics to endow small, throwaway moments with the dignity and weight of larger ones.

Liana Finck, New York Times



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