One of the biggest takeaways from Roberts’ comics is that nothing is too small to appreciate. She’s always been enthralled by tiny objects and dolls, a recurring motif in Rat Time, and her books are largely composed of relatively insignificant personal interactions that perk up her spirit. That focus on small things informs Roberts’ art, and some of the most detailed elements of her work are these objects ... The relationship between Roberts and her daughter is the strongest emotional through line of her books, and it’s a delight to see how that relationship changes as Xia grows up ... [Roberts] is in a much more comfortable place in her latest book.
... because the work is not confined by boundaries, that doesn’t mean they are out of control. They are, in fact, kept in check by Roberts’ deadpan style that does well in relating everyday events because everyday is, most typically, deadpan, thanks to a lack of awareness by the players that we are right in the middle of it ... A large part of Roberts’ comics center around the relationship between she and her daughter Xia, who functions as a perfect partner for Roberts in the area of witty banter and matter-of-fact conclusions ... Even as the scenes shuffle on, the deadpan quality is like a signal to pause and consider what you just read before you go onto the next scene, and so the book can move quickly from a therapy session to an incident while sledding to an exchange with Roberts’ father, but in each, the moment to breath and consideration does come ... the work of a person who’s taking a lot in and passing on as much as she can, but also paying attention to it all despite it’s girth. It’s just normal life, but Roberts has a good hold on the meanings that accompany the action. Rat Time shifts from a moment spent with pet rats to a moment spent with the creatures in your mind, examining, relating, appreciating, at whatever the pace.
... another fine example of the artist’s distinctive voice in the world of autobiographical comics ... With a quiet authority she can imbue the seemingly trivial with a universal profoundness; life’s quieter moments having an echoing resonance that we can all identify with. Because in a Keiler Roberts book the richness of the human experience is embedded in the very minutiae of existence ... Again it’s those small things that Roberts details in her musings that grab our attention ... Illustrated with Roberts’ usual accessible layouts and deft comedic/dramatic timing, Rat Time is replete with a line in often almost exasperated visual characterisation that reminds us that sometimes there’s a triumph in just keeping going. As ever, Roberts’ always likeable warts and all, unfiltered portrayal of herself and her thought processes underlines that simply coping with life’s everyday challenges is something we are not alone in. In Rat Time the profound and the ephemeral are bound up in an unlikely union, and it’s in that contradiction that the relatability, familiarity and truth of this quite remarkable autobio creator’s work resides.