Allison's Book Bag

Author Ramsey Beyer Takes On City Life

Posted on: September 18, 2013

English: Photograph taken of the Maryland Inst...

Maryland Institute College of Art Gateway building
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ramsey Beyer grew up on a farm in Michigan before taking on city life in Baltimore, Maryland, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in experimental animation. Beyer has been making zines (defined by Wikipedia as a small circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via a photocopier) since 2004, when she discovered a love of mini-comics in art school. Her college memoir, Little Fish, was inspired by those zines. I’ll review it this Saturday.

Beyer didn’t study illustration or anything related to comics in school, but got into zines through the punk and DIY (Do It Yourself) scene in Baltimore, where she attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. In an interview with her publisher, Zest Books, Beyer shares: “The funny thing about drawing is that you start out not being very good at it, but if you keep going, you get better. And when you’re better at it, you start to want to do it more often! That’s basically how I started drawing comics….”

As noted above, Little Fish, was inspired by her zine, which she put out for the last ten years. Although Beyer borrowed some lists from early issues of her zine, a large part of the content, however, is entirely new. Beyer explains at her blog that she also used entries from her Live Journal, because she wasn’t sure how to tackle writing about her life as an eighteen-year-old and feared not being authentic. Beyer’s Live Journal proved key to remembering how she felt and using her actual words as an eighteen-year-old also turned out to be both a fun and interesting experience.

Behind the Scenes

Beyer now lives in Pennsylvania in a row house with five roommates and her dog Rover. She works as a nanny and keeps herself busy with all sorts of projects. For example, Beyer takes Rover for long walks, rides her bike all over Philly, actively participates in the punk scene, and works on comics in coffee shops. Each month, she also puts together a DIY show calendar to keep track of cool stuff happening in Philly. Beyer also recently joined an all lady punk band, where she plays guitar. Beyond that, Beyer goes to a lot of house shows, watches bad TV or movies with her roommates, AND works on home-improvement projects like gardening, painting, and building furniture.

Tomorrow I’ll return with my own life transition story. On Friday, I’ll post an interview with Ramsey Beyer. And, on Saturday, I’ll share my reaction to her graphic novel, Little Fish. Save the dates: September 19-21!

If you’re a Year One fan, this is also the story of how Beyer met Daniel.


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I am focusing this year on other commitments. Once a month, I’ll post reviews of Advanced Reader Copies. Titles will include: Freddy Frogcaster and the Flash Flood by Janice Dean, One Two by Igor Eliseev, Incredible Magic of Being by Kathyrn Erskine, Dragon Grammar Book by Diane Robinson, and Wide as the Wind by Edward Stanton.



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