The first thing you need to know about My Poorly Drawn Life is that it’s actually drawn pretty well. That’s because the artist is Tania del Rio, and there’s an example of her skill right here on the page: She drew my avatar. Tania is best known as the artist who brought manga style to Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She also co-authored the book Mangaka America with her husband, Will Staehle, and she always seems to have a couple of projects in the works.
Each episode of My Poorly Drawn Life is a few pages long (up to 20, but most are much shorter) and chronicles a little slice of Tania’s life. She writes about visiting a haunted house on her wedding day, honeymooning in Japan, and going to the San Diego Comic-Con, but my favorite comics are the ones that chronicle the funny little moments of everyday life. Tania readily laughs at her own quirks: her dream of opening an all-skin restaurant, the psychological effect of a set of scrubs, and her habit of leaving half-empty cans of soda around the house. And Will is a perfect foil, sometimes the straight man, sometimes the comic relief. Her dogs, on the other hand, are pure trouble.
By “poorly drawn,” Tania really means “not inked.” The drawings are sketches, done directly in her sketchbook and then scanned, so they are loose, but the gestures and facial expressions come through. Just look at the most recent episode, Bye Bye Birdie, which features not just a range of emotion but also the cutest. parakeet. ever.
Tania started drawing My Poorly Drawn Life as an Hourly Comic Day project in February 2006, and she liked the idea so much that she just kept doing it. She updates semi-regularly and often throws in a little bonus comic at the end of the main one.