Ben Snakepit - Snakepit 2007/2008 [books] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Ben Snakepit

Snakepit 2007/2008 [books] (2008/2009)


Zine writer and artist Ben Snakepit compiles his life into these "self-titled" anthologies. Snakepit features the Texan's take on his daily life, showing readers what's happened during his day, every day of the year, three panels apiece in comic strip form.

Both 2007 and 2008 are very breezy reads. Ben imbues his quick tales with honesty, modesty and an animation style reminiscent of Mitch Clem's -- so if you're an internet punk nerd, this should be comfortable territory.

Atop that, Ben's life is relatively normal. Any given day he tends to be doing one of the following: working at his video rental store; hanging out with his girlfriend; playing and/or attending a show (tours occur every now and then); drinking; smoking weed; and/or playing video games. Does this make for an occasionally dull and repetitive read? Well, yeah, but you can tell Ben is putting in a fair effort of trying to mix it up.

With this style of non-fiction at hand, there aren't a whole mess of dramatic twists and turns, but you feel for Ben when the more morose life experiences come his way. Most notable is his nice tribute to J Church's Lance Hahn, who, much to Ben's dismay, passes in October 2007. The next few triplets of panels shows Ben in careful mourning without getting too sappy on the reader. He also experiences a few minor tiffs with his girlfriend and breaks the fourth wall here and there, especially for a bitter diatribe when he sees a flyer for the Sword playing in town -- a band he apparently used to play in, and now has national notice and acclaim; y'know, they did tour with Metallica and all. I'll try not to spoil too much more for ya.

Ben's most fervent effort to break up the monotony comes in 2008, when he decides to include a curious customer experience from his day at work. Previous to this it had simply been Ben, at work, against a backdrop of cassettes (or DVDs?), maybe with some variant of a facial expression to convey his mood that day.

While neither edition of Snakepit will provide the most mind-blowing storylines of epic proportions, you probably shouldn't expect that. It's more akin to watching someone's Twitter feed unfold in vivid pictures that'll make you a seeming friend of Ben's only a few days into the year. It's cute, very human and occasionally touching.