Snake Pit: 2008
by Ben Snakepit Author
Follow Ben's life through a transitional period, starting the year off with punks and puke and then mellowing out into watching TV and going to bed early. The way he lives his life may have changed, but the way he draws it is still the same honest, real, sloppy Snakepit that we all know and love.
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Comments & Reviews
"Fans [of the Snake Pit series] will enjoy this books, as well."
" ... I almost wish time away so I can read his 2009 book and at my age wishing time away is a no no."
"Snakepit is a comic zine written by this dude Ben Snakepit. He draws a comic every day of his life. It’s three panels and it’s pretty repetitive. It’s that same repetition though that makes it so awesome. Despite playing in bands and drawing for Razorcake, Ben mostly just watches movies with his girlfriend, goes to work, hands to mouth it and gets high. Sometimes he gets drunk. It’s a really great book/zine. I highly recommend it."
"Snakepit is a rare glimpse into someone else's life. The ups and downs and how much can be accomplished juggling priorities like work, relationships, and outside interests; White's are music and cartooning."
"Ben White, a.k.a, Ben Snake Pit, is a member of cool bands. He draws. He endlessly gets high and drunk. He has a babe girlfriend who cooks him rocking meals. He has a cute dog and gets to live in Austin, Texas the slacker capital of the free world. He also has to work a day job that isn’t so great, but at least he has one. Basically, Ben Snake Pit lives the DIY life you once lived, wished you had lived or are happy to live through vicariously by reading his comics. The Snake Pit comics themselves are all three panels in length and while entirely in black and white, they are vibrant and fun. Each strip more or less follows the one before it which allows the reader to follow Ben Snake Pit on his day to day escapades. One of the fascinating realizations in doing so though, is that as you follow someone day to day, you are reminded that even the coolest life has its quotidian elements. Like all of us Ben Snake Pit fights with his significant other, gets colds and experiences disappointment, frustrations and sadness. If Snake Pit at times lacks a more in-depth look at what Ben Snake Pit is truly feeling much of the time, it does subtly capture how even punks slowly, inevitably, get older and start to grow-up, as they open bank accounts, lose friends, occasionally need more sleep and discover touches of gray in their beards. Ultimately, we all need to get through the day, but as the Snake Pit comics remind its readers, how we get through it is up to us."
"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."
"We here at NeuFutur have never had the chance to go and familiarize ourselves with Ben Snakepit’s work, but those at Microcosm were nice enough to provide us with a copy of eir 2008 annual. What comes forth immediately is how well Snakepit is able to go forth and capture all the events that happen in one day in the space of three panels.
More than that, though, is the sense that despite a number of events continually coming up in eri life (work, drinking, smoking, music), Snakepit is able to keep things interesting. The style in which Snake Pit creates each of these panels may be somewhat simple, but there is a confidence with each drawn line that makes pages upon pages of eir life go by as if it was nothing. While not a major part of the annual, the soundtrack to each day has provided me with a number of different bands and songs to check out in this new year.
So, check out Ben’s interactions with band mates, eir S.O. and pet, and individuals at eir job. Make Ben happy, buy a copy of this annual, and use Snake Pit 2008 in its proper purpose –“Snakepit is, was, and ever shall be intended to be read on the toilet.”
"It’s pretty minimalist in style and content, but deceptively so. Ben manages to sneak a lot into those three panels, from cute moments and jokes to pretty astute observations about punk music, relationships and getting old. The mundanity is part of what makes Snakepit more addictive than a bag of Doritos. (And I really like Doritos.) Each collection is a year in Ben’s life, and after reading one through, you feel like you really know the dude. Like he’s your roommate, giving you updates about what band he saw last night, or the lady troubles he’s having. My favourite parts of the comic are always when Ben goes on tour, which he’s done a lot."
Ben manages to sneak a lot into those three panels, from cute moments and jokes to pretty astute observations about punk music, relationships and getting old. The mundanity is part of what makes Snakepit more addictive than a bag of Doritos. (And I really like Doritos.) Each collection is a year in Ben’s life, and after reading one through, you feel like you really know the dude. Like he’s your roommate, giving you updates about what band he saw last night, or the lady troubles he’s having. My favourite parts of the comic are always when Ben goes on tour, which he’s done a lot.
If Jack Kerouac listened to The Marked Men and Toys That Kill, became a cartoonist and had decided to reduce all accounts of his daily life to 3 panels per 24 hours over the course of several years, he still wouldn't have created a more consistently engaging, entertaining and shit-your-pants funny series of books than Ben Snakepit has. And that's a fact.
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 t-shirts. 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-Ben finds long-term love this year-they resonate even deeper.