Comics Features

REVIEW: One Year Wiser

One Year Wiser easily rests across your outstretched palm, making it small enough to slip nonchalantly into your pocket, and yet it’s a slab of a book, clocking in at 365 pages and delivered in hardback, suggesting that it’s a book awash with substance and merit. The truth is that Mike Medaglia‘s book perfectly balances being both substantial and casual.

One Year Wiser is a collection if illustrated meditations, one for each day of the year, full of the wisest and the most famous thoughts on life, the universe and everything from Martin Luther King Jr. to Groucho Marx. Gorgeously and deliberately made to act as a pick-me-up that rewards sustained reading, One Year Wiser is an insanely handsome book. Medaglia, an illustrator and editor of comics, produces a monthly mediation comic for The Huffington Post, alongside weekly illustrations of the very contents of this book itself at However, even though he’s generous enough to offer his work for free, I still recommend that holding this little anthology of positivity in your own hands is the best way to experience them.

The book is produced in such a way that demands intimacy on the part of the reader. It may not drastically alter the bags of well-worn words of wisdom’s meanings included, but Medaglia’s elegant artwork makes full use of robust colours and imaginative ways of bringing these words to life. You’re invited to pour over the endless shapes, colours and patterns Medaglia utilizes that take up such snug space throughout the entire book.

In terms of how Medaglia transforms each quote from words to visuals, he opts for their meaning at face value, giving him room to create some amusing and illuminative illustrations that emphasize the quotes without pulling them into directions the reader may not agree or have thought of when digesting these quotes for themselves. Because of this, One Year Wiser remains passive enough for mass appeal, and yet is still a gorgeously unique package. The book also offers the reader to indulge themselves further in the good vibes via One Year Wiser: The Colouring Book, a companion volume that allows readers to colour in Medaglia’s black and white mediations which ever way they want.

One Year Wiser is an endlessly lovely bundle of positivity, one that rewards bedtime reading, something to begin the day with, or if you find yourself in need for some gentle motivation. Medaglia has crafted a joyous celebration of the human concious that’s neatly snug, even with the most worldy of words.

You can get your copy of One Year Wiser here, and check our Mike Medaglia’s One Year Wiser website, updated with new meditations every Monday. You can find out more about the man himself here.

About the author

Fred McNamara