Creative Quarantine: Cartoonist Keiler Roberts

Keiler Roberts | Photo credit: Xia Roberts

1. How are you holding up?

I think we should all stop asking that question and find a way to greet each other that doesn’t require self-assessment. Something like, “There you are! Prepare for some attention.”

A page from Rat Time | © Keiler Roberts

2. Has Covid-19 had an effect on your work? If so, in what way?

I’ve been thinking about loss a lot, and the sudden unexpected end of things. I’m not sure how it’s affecting my work…

Another page from Rat Time | © Keiler Roberts

3. Is there anything you’ve added to your practice that you’d like to keep after this is over?

I’ve gotten better at tolerating all kinds of things.

Paranoia 1, from Chlorine Gardens | © Keiler Roberts

4. Of the artists you follow, who is handling this particularly well?

Two cartoonists whom I love – Whit Taylor and Julia Wertz just had babies. They are surviving so many things right now. I’m in awe.

Paranoia 2, from Chlorine Gardens | © Keiler Roberts

I regularly take pictures of what I’m about to eat. It’s another way to journal. Keeping track of the daily, uneventful parts of life had always been part of my comics and my life. It helps me feel like I’m not missing out. The pictures from old photo albums that were taken when I was at home when it wasn’t a holiday, vacation, or event are my favorites.

What We Eat | © Keiler Roberts

The baby cake is something I made for a friend’s baby shower years ago. I just like to look at this picture a lot.

Baby Cake | © Keiler Roberts

Isolada, published in June 2020 by Alpha Decay in Barcelona. It’s a Spanish translation of her book, Sunburning (Koyama Press, 2017)

Keiler Roberts is a Chicago-based artist whose autobiographical comic series Powdered Milk received an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Series and was included in The Best American Comics 2016 and 2018. Her most recent three books, Sunburning, Chlorine Gardens, and Rat Time were published Koyama Press. She teaches at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago.

Keiler’s work can be found online at: