Monday, August 27, 2012

Poorcraft by C. Spike Trotman & Diana Nock

Around the age of seven, I decided that books with pictures were for little kids who couldn't read real books yet, or boys who liked robot trucks and superheroes so much that cartoons weren't enough. The only exceptions to this rule were Garfield, The Far Side, and Calvin and Hobbes.

Luckily, by the time I got to college, dorm rooms came equipped with internet and in between working on papers I discovered webcomics. Almost always free, often created by newer, less established, or more experimental artists and writers, these were my one-page-at-a-time introduction to the world of graphic novels.

I'm still an avid reader of webcomics, which is how I came to hear of Poorcraft: funnybook fundamentals of living well on less (640 TRO). The writer, Spike Trotman, is responsible for one of my favorites, Templar, AZ (sometimes NSFW), and I've been waiting to read this graphic novel guide to living within your means since she raised the possibility.

In fact, I wish I'd had this book before I finished college, and entered the world of entry level positions, job hunting in a lukewarm economy, and graduate school. Poorcraft has everything from tips on how to make your own cleaning supplies to how to navigate the complexity of the health care system. Some of the advice my parents gave me (always keep a budget, don't buy things on credit), and some I've learned through experience (how to find a good apartment), but many elements were new for me (how to care for an iron skillet).

The art is done by Diana Nock who, among other projects, does the webcomic The Intrepid Girlbot (family friendly). The style she uses for Poorcraft reminds me of cartoons from the 1930s, very expressive and loose limbed. A callback to the Great Depression makes sense for the topic! I love the humor of the visual style (there are some very amusing background elements), and how the book is organized around Millie's navigation of the concepts of frugality with Penny's help. By having the humor and a narrative, it turns Poorcraft from a list of Dos and Don'ts into a story you'll want to read cover to cover!

I highly recommend this title for anyone looking to save a little money in their budget, whether you're just starting out, or you've been navigating adulthood for years. Poorcraft will give you a good starting point!

You can see more of Spike's work on her website:
And more of Diana Nock's work on her website:
Both sites may include material that is NSFW.

~Sarah, Adult Services

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