When most people think about graphic novels and comics, they automatically assume the stories are about wild fantasies, superheroes, horror, or something in the genre vein. And that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just like standard print novels, a graphic novel can be about whatever an author wants it to be. Friendships and mundane routines. A random day in the park. Or what it’s like to tackle the tough world of publishing. The latter is what Kate Gavino does in her new graphic novel A Career in Books: A Novel about Friends, Money, and the Occasional Duck Bun. (The shorter title is A Career in Books.)
This special story follows three Asian American friends who work in different arenas of publishing for various reasons. It throws in some very slice-of-life elements as they navigate being underpaid, hanging out as friends, eating, and simply existing as people. The trio also makes friends with a neighbor who is accomplished but chose to step away from a successful writing career. Her story opens their eyes in different ways.
Things don’t always go to plan and, unlike the rosy lens TV likes to throw on certain industries, Gavino keeps things realistic. Shirin, Silvia, and Nina are not rich. In fact, they are rather underpaid which isn’t a surprise for 2011 (the year this book takes place) or 2022. They deal with microaggressive behavior, ignorance, and barriers to climbing up the career ladder. And sometimes they just deal with stuff because who has the energy to fight every single day.
If you’re super curious about what to expect from this story, we have you covered. Check out this A Career in Books excerpt with all the panels from its first chapter:
A Career in Books is currently available for readers to purchase.