"The Voyeurs and July Diary" by Gabrielle Bell (Uncivilized Books)
Autobiographical comics can be difficult for newcomers to the form to warm up to. So often the work of people who document lives they've barely lived, they can function as therapy that the world gets to peer in on. Lots of people undergo therapy, but their sessions aren't necessarily interesting to listen in on.
Gabrielle Bell is one of those who transcends any fears you might have about the form -- or, at least, this is as good as it gets, and if you're open to the idea of spending some time with a self-deprecating, pseudo-hermit who isn't always good at communicating, then you're half-way there. The key to good autobiographical comics is perhaps to make the personal experience universal or ,if not that wide-reaching, at least wide enough to go beyond the creator and give the reader something to latch onto. Bell does that, emerging in her work as an Every Artist. There's a lot to identify with.
In "The Voyeurs," Bell offers a compilation of beautiful cartoon journals created over a several-year period that document the dichotomy between outward success and inner assurance that she is nothing but a loser. As she travels with boyfriend and creative collaborator, film director Michel Gondry, and attends the media event known as Comic Con in San Diego as their special guest with all expenses paid, it seems like fate has tossed magical glitter
Not meaning to, but functioning well as a postscript to "The Voyeurs," her short book "July Diary" is a 31-day experiment that saw Bell do a diary comic a day for July, 2011, the year following the end of "The Voyeurs." Here, the trappings of Bell's life are much more down to earth -- she even goes on a day-long temp job plugging and unplugging computers -- and it's a good source of context for readers of the previous book.
Any creative person will probably be able to identify with Bell's frustration at the challenge she has set out for herself, even going to far as to argue about it and justify the whole thing in within the content of her actual project. Truthfully, procrastination is as important a part of the creative process as massive self doubt, and Bell manages to translate her experience in a way that's both singular and familiar, and will make you laugh.