Being a Killjoy: the Comics of Beth Heinly

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Roberta Fallon’s reviews and features have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Weekly, artnet, Art on Paper, Art Review and elsewhere. From 1999-2011, she was the art critic for Philadelphia Weekly writing a weekly column of criticism and features, and from 2000-2005 she wrote the Philadelphia Story column for artnet.com. In 2003, she co-founded The Artblog, which has been recognized for excellence twice by Art in America, and was a finalist for the prestigious Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers Award. It is also one of Philadelphia’s most well-known and prized arts publications.

-Julius Ferraro, Curate This co-founder

Beth Heinly is a leader in the alternative arts community in Philadelphia. She’s talented, opinionated and original. No matter what she’s working on—comics, a performance art piece, an exhibition or her experimental performance art festival, Beth works from her life and her passions. As a member of two important alternative galleries—Little Berlin and Vox Populi—she has curated and shown work by herself and others. Her interest in science led to a wonderful art and science exhibit at Little Berlin; as a collector of art, she curated a memorable collections show at Vox Populi; as a zine maker and collector, she organized a zine library at Little Berlin that now is archived at Temple University Libraries.

Beth Heinly performance art, Weryd Wimmen

On Artblog, I am on the receiving end of Beth’s funny and wise The 3:00 Book comic. Every Monday I anticipate Beth’s comic with the same eagerness I feel when cracking open a fortune cookie—I’m looking for a pun, a bon mot, some wise words. While a fortune cookie rarely lives up to my hopes, Beth’s comics deliver. Sometimes salty, sometimes sweet and always beautifully composed, Beth’s comics reverberate.

The 3:00 Book has a Charlie Brown innocence but without the sugar coating. Both Peanuts and The 3:00 Book praise the simple things in life. For Beth, there’s a good sandwich, her cat Zion, and vacuuming (yes, actually). For Charlie Brown, there’s baseball and his dog Snoopy.


The 3:00 Book characters (a thinly-veiled Beth, her boyfriend, and a naïve, snobby girl with curly hair) can be biting and mean or sweet as pie. No matter which extreme, the encounters ring true and come from someone who’s a student of human behavior and has been on the giving and receiving end of some fraught exchanges.

Drawn in a beautiful and reductivist style that’s satisfying for its clean lines and generous white space, Beth’s comics are complete art—from concept to execution. I highly recommend you take a look. Watch for her Open Call Guerilla Outdoor Performance Festival (OCGOPF) this summer in Rittenhouse Square and Collins Park. And here’s some of her other work.

Here are a dozen of my favorite The 3:00 Book comics. The titles are mine, not the artist’s.

Trying to please people and how that sometimes works out

Trying to please people, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog

Deflecting praise

Deflecting praise, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog

Being a killjoy

Being a killjoy, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog

Being a killjoy 2

Being a killjoy 2, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog

Phone etiquette

Phone etiquette, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog


Sleep, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog

Failure of imagination

Failure of imagination, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog

Facing facts in a relationship

Facing facts in a relationship, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog

The lure of pretending

The lure of pretending, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog

Fitting in

Fitting in, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog

Human/animal interaction

Human animal interaction, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog

Anger management

Anger management, Beth Heinly, 3:00 Comics, artblog

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