Our Super Adventure: Press Start To Begin
Sarah Graley (Artist & Writer), Stef Purenins (Flatter)
In Sarah Graley’s introduction into Our Super Adventure: Press Start To Begin, she describes the connection people have to her work as a kind of “shared silliness,” a phrase that encapsulates the entire feel of this book. Graley started creating comics about her, her partner Stef, and their four cats in 2012. As her zines and mini-comics gained popularity, it all culminated in a 2015 Kickstarter where she raised 400% past her original goal. Now in its final form, and re-released by Oni Press with a new shiny cover, Sarah Graley has compiled a work that truly captures the intimacy and absurdity of being in a relationship with lots of laughs and cute cats.
The pages in Our Super Adventure: Press Start To Begin consist of four panels conveying different moments, jokes, or reactions. Reading it straight through can become a bit much; like reading a book full of punchlines with no development. These moments spaced out can be adequately enjoyed. I first came in contact with Sarah Graley’s work on Instagram, a format that these bite-sized romantic moments can truly shine. There, I fell in love with the way she captures the comfortableness that comes along when you’ve been with someone for a while.
Take the comic where Stef yells for Sarah, saying it’s an emergency, and we see Sarah responding “I can’t move, I have a cat on my lap!” and he can’t move because he also has a cat on his lap and really wants some crisps. There have been many moments between my partner and I that mirror this exact moment; I applaud Graley’s ability to capture that intimacy and silliness so effortlessly in four panels. Each comic contains a relatable, funny moment or just a cute inside look into Sarah and Stef’s relationship.
Some of the comics that made me laugh out loud focus on them messing with one another. Like when Stef tries to take Sarah’s sweater right off her body while she is playing video games just cause he wants it. Or when Sarah is telling her terrible weather-themed fart jokes, or just Sarah trying to steal his toe (something I have done multiple times to my partner). Graley’s ability to capture such small moments and make the reader feel the connection between her and Stef is fantastic.
Sarah Graley’s comics always have a beautiful color story. Each four-panel story is a world of its own, from the jewel tones of the cartoon depicting her and Stef watching a movie as she begins to cry, to the bubblegum pink accents in the scenes with Sarah immersed in emotion, whether that be love or fury. Graley’s cartoon style is dynamic, and the facial features are always spot on; some of my personal favorites are when Graley’s character gets upset or very excited. Upset Sarah’s face seems to droop down to the floor her large eyes focused, but excited Sarah is all hearts and stars, she is literally radiating rays of light. The cute cartoon style complements each vignette and extenuates the story Graley is trying to get across, and with such limited space, Graley’s technique is truly effective.
Our Super Adventure: Press Start To Begin by Sarah Graley is a superb snapshot into the silliness and vulnerability that comes with being in a long term relationship. Reading it straight through can be a bit monotonous, but reading it in between work tasks or just taking your time and enjoying the pocket-sized stories within is the perfect way to enjoy this book. If you like exciting short stories, and fantastic art this is a book you should definitely pick up from your library or your local bookstore.