Saturday, 31 March 2018

Short Review: 'Herding Cats' by Sarah Andersen

Sarah Andersen was one of the first artists I discovered online and then followed into print. Now that I have a black cat myself as well her art continues to be both uproariously funny as well as surprisingly relevant. I am now used to realising that I am describing one of her comics to a friend, desperately trying to explain why the picture of her in the fur coat throwing money around in a bookstore is, like, me. So of course I had to pick up Andersen's newest book as well! I need new material, my friends are getting bored! Thanks to Andrew McMeel's Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Pub. Date: 27/03/2018
Publisher: Andrew McMeel's Publishing
Sarah's Scribbles,  Goodreads Choice Award for 2016:  Best Graphic Novels & Comics
". . . author Sarah Andersen uses hilarious (and adorable) comics to illustrate the very specific growing pains that occur on your way to becoming a mature, put-together grownup. Andersen’s spot-on illustrations also show how to navigate this newfound adulthood once you arrive, since maturity is equally as hard to maintain as it is to find … "--The Huffington Post 
Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah's Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing. 
I rewrote this initial paragraph about 5 times just to stop myself from doing what I threatened above: describing funny comics and thereby stopping them from being funny. So rather I'd just like to summarise all the different things Andersen still manages to encapsulate in her art:

  • Milenial existential dread
  • The importance of love and support between friends
  • Cat shapes
  • The pleasure of being comfortable with yourself
  • That sad music is the best music
  • The horror that are periods
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!!
I literally love Sarah Andersen's art, there is not a single comic in this book I somehow couldn't relate to or didn't find funny.


Something I really enjoyed about Herding Cats were the last 30 or so pages on Andersen's creative process, called 'Making Stuff in the Modern Era: A Guide for the Young Creative and 'Part Two: Artist Survival''. In it Andersen talks about the double-edged sword that is the Internet for an artist, but also for everyone else if we're being honest. Anyone who puts their own content online has to prepare themselves for being shut down at best and straight up harrassed at worst. One of the reasons why I love the book blogging community so much is because I feel like we're all quite chill and supportive, but it's rough out there on the Internet sometimes. So how do you cope with that as a budding artist? Andersen talks about how to deal with art blocks, criticism, and the importance of taking a break and then getting right back to work.

I give this book..

5 Universes!

What can I say, I love myself some good art. Just like the previous instalments of Sarah's Scribbles, Herding Cats is full of great comics and good advice to any aspiring artists. Now all I need is a house with a coffee table so I can proudly display Herding Cats there.

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