When you see the title, What’s Up Beanie?: Acutely Relatable Comics and only see the word Beanie as that was the nickname of your best friend growing up (we meet the night before the first day of kindergarten and in true kid form the next day we said, “I know you! You’re my friend!” and the rest was BFFs for several years and a around 40-year off/on friendship) you know you must pick it up.
The book starts with Baby Beanie, a four-year-old who comes to the future to see if they became an astronaut, own a lot of dogs, and to be a general four-year-old. And 20-something Beanie remembers those years fondly (too much candy, the beret situation, becoming a “big sister” to a four-footed-furry sibling, playing spy after getting locked out of the house with the sisters, wondering about mountains). We moved into teen Beanie years and finally to now where an adult Beanie might be responsible, but still rather use the only clean spoon to eat out of the cooking pot for dinner instead of washing some dishes.
Alina Tysoe created comics about themselves and their life throughout the years. This book collects their works from “Baby Beanie” to now. Beanie takes us on a journey of family, friends, anxiety, patience, drawing, art, mistakes, college, weirdness, love, and puppies. Lots and lots of puppies. There is also a cat or two, a husband who is also weird (and really gets our author), and two awesome big sisters. We see moving from her childhood home (I think I miss where Tysoe is from originally, just know there is a lot of snow) to New Zealand (culture shock and English is not Beanie’s first language) and finally to Canada with the husband that included tears, happiness, the hope for a puppy, and Lazy Bed as a Gremlin Roll Days. These relatable comics include all the goodness of everyday lives and shows just how amazing the everyday can be.
This humor book would be a fun graduation gift, a fun hostess gift or a “stocking stuffer” idea (for any occasion when you need a “little something” gift). All ages can appreciate, but teens to adults will most likely “get it” and sympathize with Tysoe and crew. If you like books like Sara’s Scribbles or I Left the House Today!: Comics by Cassandra Calin, you should give this a looksee.