It probably shows my age, but one of my favorite web sites is Apartmenttherapy.com. Within, the curious can find tips about how to combine ridiculously overpriced furniture with ironic thrift store finds. I find myself hating the happy couples and their pugs but wanting to move into their exquisitely curated “small spaces.” You know, the ones where lights are made out of cheese graters and there’s no TV but there is a vintage movie projector. The Macbook is hidden but the manual typewriter is in plain sight. However, there is one facet of domesticity that is overlooked amongst all these hints for the happy household: bathroom reading. Sure, a few back issues of MaximumRocknRollor that other newspapery zine will show your guests how cool you are, but let’s face it: reading those articles takes a bit of time and newsprint is yucky if it gets too close to the shower. And not everybody is fascinated by a Kosovo scene report.
This is where Snakepit Gets Old comes in. As one of the first pages says, “Snakepit is, was, and ever shall be intended to be read on the toilet.” It is the perfect size to fit on top of the tank. The cover and paper can survive humid conditions. It is exactly what the cover says: a daily diary. The material expands to fit the time available. You can relive one day in the life of Snakepit during a quick pee or devour a week or two’s worth of happenings if things get complicated after you tried that new burrito shop. This book is especially relevant for those of us who sit down to do all of our business.
And what a life it is! It’s all about doing grown-up stuff like going to work in the morning, getting married, and passing kidney stones. Going to shows and playing shows, apparently, also fall into the category of stuff people do when they get old. It’s not as well-thought out as the full-length comics that appear in these here pages but it gives a clue as to the artist’s process. As with anything, the more you do it, the better you are. There is a comic for every day of the year from 2010 to 2012. Every day. That takes discipline. I remember all those times I tried to make myself write every day, even if it was awful. Some of it is like watching paint dry but there are some gems in there. Each day’s comic also mentions what the artist was listening to, so you might discover some new music along the way. –Lisa Weiss (Microcosm Publishing, 2752 N. Williams Ave., Portland, OR 97227, Microcosmpublishing.com)