IN: A Graphic Novel, the debut book from New Yorker cartoonist Will McPhail, will be published by HMH Books & Media on June 8, and The Beat has received an exclusive preview of the forthcoming book. The semi-autobiographical graphic novel follows Nick, an apparently aimless 20-something illustrator whose daily routine involves café-hopping in New York City and wondering where meaningful conversations have disappeared to.

Cartoonist Will McPhail; photo courtesy: HMH Books & Media

Written well before the pandemic, IN‘s stark parallel to our pandemic driven world in terms of socially awkward interactions, both obligatory and pretentious, soars throughout the story and illustrations. McPhail has an interesting take in switching between black-and-white and color, giving the reader an exciting opportunity to interact with the protagonist. IN painfully dissects mundane chores in hopes of gaining access and feeling connected to others’ worlds. Nick is introduced to many characters in the novel, and the preview features an early interaction with Wren, an oncologist, who has a beautiful story arc that unties his existential crisis to discover her own.

Cartoonist and author Liana Finck (Passing for Human: A Graphic Memoir) writes about IN: “Will McPhail draws sensitively and with impeccable emotional precision. In IN, he has created a hilarious, touching, infinitely surprising world. I will read this book many times.” Check out the exclusive preview below. IN: A Graphic Novel is currently available for pre-order in both e-book and hardcover here.

will mcphail's in: a graphic novel

a page from will mcphail's in: a graphic novel

a page from will mcphail's in: a graphic novel