Ben Passmore. This Is Tough. 2020. Courtesy of the artist

Ben Passmore’s story follows a couple on the verge of a breakup during their visit to MoMA. “While she’s listing her critiques of her husband,” Passmore reflects, “it’s clear she’s also describing her feelings about the artwork.” As it turns out, the Philadelphia-based cartoonist was mining his own experiences. “I visited MoMA shortly after ending things with a partner. I really needed the trip to the city and the escape from my own mind, but I noticed I spent a lot of the time being self-conscious about how little of the work I knew. I started skipping exhibits and scanning for the safety of work I recognized.... Then I thought, ‘fam this was you in so many relationships.’”

Ben Passmore is the author of Sports Is Hell and Your Black Friend and Other Strangers. His latest graphic novel, These Black Arms to Hold You Up, will be published in 2022.