Whenever you make anything there are a dozen of fiddly little things you’d like to change, but in the case of my collection of short stories, How to be Happy, there is one thing that I feel really bad about. I sloppily omitted any original publication credits, which does a disservice to the three wonderful publications I was proud to have several of the short stories previously appear in. If I’m lucky enough to go into a second printing I’ll fix this mistake, but in the meantime, I will credit them here:
In Our Eden was originally published in Nobrow #7, Brave New World edited by Alex Spiro (Nobrow Press)
Untitled (Bus Trip) was originally published in Lucky Peach #7, The Travel Issue and was art directed by Walter Green (McSweeny’s)
Nita Goes Home, Stick and String, Seven Sacks, and Thomas the Leader were all originally published in MOMEs number 22, 8, 7 and 9 respectively. Edited by Eric Reynolds and Gary Groth. (Fantagraphics Books)
All other work either appeared online on my own sites or was previously unpublished.
Eleanor Davis's How to Be Happy is the artist's first collection of graphic/literary short stories, and it’s about time. Davis is one of the finest cartoonists of her generation, and has been producing comics since the mid-2000s. Happy represents the best stories she's drawn for such connoisseurial venues as Mome, Nobrow, and Lucky Peach, as well as her own self-publishing and web efforts. Davis achieves a rare, subtle poignancy in her narratives that are at once compelling and elusive, pregnant with mystery and a deeply satisfying emotional resonance. Happy shows the full range of Davis's graphic skills — sketchy drawing, polished pen-and-ink line work, and meticulously designed full-color painted panels — which are always in the service of a narrative that builds to a quietly devastating climax.
"Nita Goes Home" (originally published in Mome) selected for The Best American Comics 2013
"Davis's short comics have been Tumblr favorites for her artistic style mixing classic illustrative techniques with unsettling observations and sexuality. This first print collection of her stories promises no less." – Publishers Weekly
"Imaginative and funny and fanciful, but it's also very thoroughly worked out. She's not afraid to be clear." – Françoise Mouly
"I challenge anyone not to want to live in the world Eleanor creates." – It's Nice That
"Eleanor Davis's comic has a visual narrative that’s as smooth as butter..." – Kirkus Reviews
"A major cartooning talent." – Comic Book Resources