Born 1985 in New York, Knisley was avid reader of comics from a young age. Instead of following in her mother’s culinary footsteps, Knisley decided to move to Chicago to study at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She moved again, this time to Vermont, to study Fine Art at the Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS).
A year before graduating from the CCS, in 2008, Knisley released her first book, French Milk. Published by Simon & Schuster, French Milk is a very personal comic journal detailing the six-week trip that she and her mother took in Paris. During a milestone birthday for both, it also deals with their shifting relationship.
It was Knisley’s second book, Relish, that really captured people’s attention. Drawing inspiration from her mother again, Relish is a tale through the eyes of a young Knisley growing up with a chef for a mother and the importance that food and cooking had during her childhood. Released in 2013, published by First Second, the book was a New York Times best-seller, an American Library Association award winner in the YA category, and has since been translated into five languages.
That same year Knisley moved back to Chicago, but thanks to the success of Relish she travelled all over America. A special guest at San Diego Comic Con, Toronto Comic Arts Festival, MoCCA Arts Fest, New York Comic Con, Miami Book Fest and many others. Part of her country-trotting includes teaching and giving lectures on comics at conventions, after-school programs, camps and workshops.
Knisley has contributed to various anthologies and worked with mainstream comic publisher Marvel, Valiant and Boom Studios. Amidst it all, continuing to write and publish her own autobiographical stories, An Age of License and most recently Displacement. Presently, she is at work on two graphic novels. The first is Something New, a journey into the dating world, through the heartbreak and headaches, all the way to the wedding aisle. The second is another venture into Knisley’s youth as she relives her high-school years in New Kid.
Lucy Knisley works offers an open and frank window into her life. Her style, cartoonish and vibrant, helps add humour to sensitive subjects. She observes and draws scenarios, emotions and nuances that make the story that much more relatable and captivating.