How do you balance the lifestyle and ambitions of a punk musician with the need for fulfillment, stability, and rent money? That problem jumps out of every page of Manor Threat, encapsulating three years of Ben Snakepit’s life in all its warts and glory.
In his fifteen years of daily diary comics, we’ve seen Ben play in bands (including J Church, The Sword, and Ghost Knife), tour, practice, get drunk a lot, and navigate relationships and jobs. The latest episode brings us to the town of Manor (pronounced “MAYner”), a suburb of Austin, Texas. Ben buys a house with his wife and adjusts to slowpaced suburban living. He turns 40, changes jobs, experiences big life transitions, and practices with his new band. Every day along the way, he draws a simple three-panel comic describing each day’s events, however dramatic or monotonous, each titled with a punk song. Against that steady march of time, patterns emerge and shift and the result is a meditative, addictive read that captures the humanity of everyday life in a way that is never pretentious or boring, and always relatable.
Ben Snakepit has earned a cult following by drawing a three panel comic every day for the last fifteen years, chronicling his life in punk. Manor Threat is the seventh and latest book in the series.
The entire Snake Pit series is available through Microcosm Publishing, which is made in the US (Portland, OR).
Ben Snakepit has been drawing a daily diary comic for fifteen years. He also publishes a regular column in Razorcake magazine and appears in a number of multi-artist anthology comics. His books have received glowing reviews in publications like Vice, Maximum Rocknroll, Wizard magazine, USA Today and GQ. He lives in Manor, TX, outside of Austin.
“Somehow, Ben Snakepit’s work has managed to consistently win me over for more than a decade. He doesn’t cater to literary trends, or try to make Snake Pit more than what it is, which is a difficult and wonderful thing to pull off. ” – Julia Wertz, Fart Party and Drinking at the Movies
“Ben’s shitty comics have created a book that’s impossible to put down, with lessons usually reserved for more pretentious art.” – VICE
“Each three-panel strip in this collection covers the events of the day, and is accompanied by one of Snakepit’s favorite bands and a track he likes by them. The drawings are simple-both funny and sweet-filled with Snakepit’s humor, and his quirky visual interpretations of the events of his dayto day life. His willingness to confront the mundane and his diligence in keeping a daily journal are admirable, especially in an age when people’s attention spans are short, and most ignore the unremarkable aspects of life.” – Publishers Weekly
“Every three-panel daily entry has a song and artist slug (e.g., ‘Beat on the Brat-Ramones’) as epigram more than title and very often begins or ends at a rock show. […] Perhaps Snakepit’s life is in a rut, but he’s basically happy, especially when he has a girlfriend, and what he records simultaneously with his own adventures is a bohemian, or lumpen bohemian, scene healthier and miles less pretentious than, say, Verlaine and Rimbaud’s Parisian niche or the Beats’ conclaves in Paris and San Francisco.” – Ray Olson, Booklist
“Snakepit is the visual embodiment of DIY punk as it unfolds in its three panels, a day at a time. Much like life itself, on the surface-and to the casual observer-none of this may look like much. Ben sits around, eats buffets, gets high, plays in bands, and works at a video store. Each of Ben’s days has an accompanying soundtrack song. Music’s definitely important to Ben, but the true driving force is the people he meets; what beats in his friends’ hearts, and not merely what’s on their tshirts. Pushing around all the edges, like pieces of paper cut out and carefully rubber cemented into place, are real snapshots of life as it’s happening. And when the watershed days do come, they resonate even deeper.” – Razorcake