The Everyday was Adam Cadwell’s webcomic, running 200 episodes and detailing those everyday events that oft times go unnoticed, the daily ephemera of life. After reviewing it in print form (Collections 1-3, Collection 4) I was pleased to get my hands on this beautiful landscape format hardback at last years Thought Bubble (I know, I know, should have reviewed it sooner. Life gets in the way sometimes.).
And before we even get into anything else, a note on what I think may be one of my favourite covers of many, many years. A perfect bit of design that gets better every time I look at it, and a perfect summation of everything you’ll find inside, simple happiness that can turn on a comedic sixpence to soggy disaster.
Inside, the 200 episodes plot Cadwell’s life, in all its everyday glory; flatmates, friends, colleagues, comics, work, holidays, festivals, and all the other stuff in between is in here, there’s even time for a relationship or two as well…
But the relationships don’t dominate, the melancholy is fleeting, and the lasting impression you have from The Everyday is one of joyous observation, as over the 200 strips you find yourself smiling so much, as life passes by so elegantly and captured so well.
In fact if you want a perfect example of the mood of The Everyday I give you this:
Perfect? I think so. And it’s all there in a raise of the legs and a little smile.
Or perhaps this one:
Again, a beautifully observed moment, not revelatory, not action-packed, not an emotional roller coaster, but absolutely real, and again, perfectly observed. The Everyday is packed with this sort of thing.
The easy comparison here is with Marc Ellerby’s Ellerbisms; webcomics running at the same time, close friendship, guest appearances in each others webcomic, formed the publisher Great Beast together, and in November 2012 both brought out collections. Ellerby’s was a revised, contextualised version, Cadwell’s a complete record. But if you look at them both, they’re actually two very different beasts. Ellerby’s strip took a huge decision to document a love affair, and it was that that gave it form and structure from that point on. Cadwell’s Everyday sticks to the initial model of documenting the little things, almost resolutely avoiding any longer narrative.
But having chosen his path Cadwell delivers with gentle honesty an observational tour de force, collecting those Everday moments we’ll all recognise, every subject, every emotion; charming, delightful, intelligent, funny, whimsical, melancholic – everything is here and it’s all documented with a realism that can’t help but resonate.
Artistically, there’s always a little roughness at the outset, but it takes surprisingly little time to hit form and rhythm, and once it does, we’re in for a treat, as Cadwell’s artwork, presented here at the size they were drawn, matures so quickly, developing a simple yet highly effective line that really impresses.
My favourite couple of strips to end on, perhaps a little more melancholy than the overall tone of The Everyday, but hey, they’re my favourite, you have 198 more to choose from, I guarantee something in here will soon become your favourite as well.