Graphic Medicine is the "Go To" website that explores the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare. This is a community of academics, health carers, authors, artists, and fans of comics and medicine.
Joyce Farmer’s memoir chronicles the decline of the author’s parents’ health, their relationship with one another and with their their daughter, and how they cope with the day-to-day emotional fragility of the most taxing time of their lives.
Reviews http://herocomplex.latimes.com/comics/r-crumb-joyce-farmers-special-exits-on-par-with-maus/ and http://www.tcj.com/reviews/special-exits/
In this powerful memoir the the LA Times calls “moving, rigorous, and heartbreaking," Sarah Leavitt reveals how Alzheimer’s disease transformed her mother, Midge, and her family forever. In spare blackand- white drawings and clear, candid prose, Sarah shares her family’s journey through a harrowing range of emotions—shock, denial, hope, anger, frustration—all the while learning to cope, and managing to find moments of happiness.
The book is about Chast's parents in their final years. The author derived the book's title from her parents' refusal to discuss their advancing years and infirmities. Chast's cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker magazine since 1978. The book was appreciated for showcasing Chast's talent as cartoonist and storyteller. It received several awards and was a number 1 New York Times Bestseller
Chronicles Brian Fies's Mothers diagnosis and treatment for metastatic lung cancer. Can also view online at https://www.gocomics.com/moms-cancer/2015/04/20
Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto
Publication Date: 2009-09-29
"Cancer Vixen is the illness story of Marisa Marchetto, a New York Cartoonist. She was drawing a regular magazine strip when she discovered she had breast cancer. Thrust into a confusing world of expensive specialists and confusing treatment options, she had let her medical insurance lapse and would have been faced with crippling bills of about $200,000 to pay had her fiance, restauranteur Silvano, not been able to add her name to his insurance. The story documents the investigations and treatment she went though." https://www.graphicmedicine.org/comic-reviews/cancer-vixen/
By Barry Abrams, MD
This is the story of a physician with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy being managed by an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. In the middle of a snowstorm, he receives his first of many staggering shocks from his runaway defibrillator. Learning to live in this new reality includes learning to live with the strong magnet that blocks the defibrillator signal, much to his own chagrin and the amusement of others. Available at: www.permanentepress.com
Psychiatric Tales by Darryl Cunningham
Publication Date: 2011-02-19
Psychiatric Tales draws on Darryl Cunningham's time working in a psychiatric ward to give a reasoned and sympathetic look into the world of mental illness. In each chapter, Cunningham explores a different mental health problem, using evocative imagery to describe the experience of mental illness, both from the point of view of those beset by illness and their friends and relatives. As Cunningham reveals this human experience, he also shows how society's perceptions of and reactions to mental illness perpetuate needless stigma, for example, the myth that schizophrenic people are more likely to commit crimes than non-schizophrenic people
Marbles by Ellen Forney
Publication Date: 2012-11-06
Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic and terrified that medications would cause her to lose creativity, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability while retaining her passions and creativity. Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the crazy artist, she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to “cure” an otherwise brilliant mind.
Stitches by David Small
Publication Date: 2010-09-13
The author was chronically ill, with treatment prescribed by his father, including X-rays. When Small was ten, he developed a growth on his neck that his parents were too preoccupied to have diagnosed, though friends of the family urged them to. It wasn’t until after he turned 14 that he finally underwent surgery for what was initially considered a harmless cyst but turned out to be a cancerous tumor. A second surgery left him with only one vocal cord, all but voiceless as well as disfigured. Terse and unsentimental throughout, the narration becomes even sparer once the author loses his voice, with page after wordless page filled with stark imagery. Yet the intensity of the artistry reveals how he has been screaming inside, with nightmares that never fully abate when he is awake. Psychological therapy helps him come to terms with his condition, as does his precocious artistry.Full Review https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/david-small/stitches/
Monsters by Ken Dahl
Publication Date: 2009-09-01
Monsters is the latest graphic novel by Ken Dahl, author of the Microcosm published title Welcome to the Dahlhouse. Monsters is a semi-autobiographical story about Ken contracting Herpes, and slowly letting it take over his life. Self-deprecating by nature, the virus inside him makes him feel like even more of a monster. The reader learns along with Ken about what it means to be a carrier, and how it impacts every aspect of his life, especially romantically. As anyone who's read Dahlhouse knows, Ken is an incredible talent, and this book was much awaited here at Microcosm. https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/2924
David B grew up with an elder brother, Jean-Christophe, who suffered from severe epilepsy. David (christened Pierre-Francois Beauchard, but changing his name during the story) are very close as young children. Jean Christophe is a bright imaginative child with a talent for drawing that he shares with his brother. The book chronicles the development of Jean-Christophe’s illness, his reaction to it and the strains and confinement it puts on family life as they search in vain for a cure for his fits, trying both orthodox and unorthodox medicine.
A graphic memoir by an author best known for her children’s books details the devastating effects of her husband’s amyotrophic lateral sclerosis on her entire family. .... Though Moss has sold millions of books—particularly the Amelia’s Notebook series—she explains in the acknowledgments that “this book wasn’t easy to sell. Many agents and editors felt it was too dark or sad.” It is both of those, as the author subverts the stereotype of the noble caregiver and the patient whose fatal illness teaches everyone about the true meaning of life. Moss offers no clichéd heroism. “We’re told that major illness deepens us, makes us grateful for our lives,” she writes. “But for me, ALS doesn’t work that way. I’m not a bigger, nobler person and neither is [my husband] Harvey.” https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/marissa-moss/last-things-als/
Judd Winick is a cartoonist. After graduating from art college he found that his anticipated career had not taken off quite as he hoped. He auditioned for, and was accepted onto MTV’s reality programme ‘The Real World’. He considers himself a liberal, but the news that he will share a house with (in fact a bedroom with) a man with AIDS (AIDS educator Pedro Zamora) forces him to confront his own attitudes and overcome his own anxieties. In the house he not only meets the man who will change his life, Pedro, but also his future wife, Pam. https://www.graphicmedicine.org/comic-reviews/pedro-and-me-friendship-loss-and-what-i-learned/
Blue Pills, by Swiss artist Frederick Peeters, chronicles his relationship with Cati, a wild, vivacious girl he meets at a New Years Party. They connect and become lovers. Before long Cati tells Fred that she and her three-year-old son are both HIV positive. He is filled with a mixture of passion, pity and desire, but he does his best to act cool. Although disconcerted, he wants the relationship to work, and so it does. The book charts Fred’s evolving relationship with Cati’s son, cataloguing his periods of illness, his stays in hospital and the routine of his medication- the blue pills of the title.
Second Avenue Caper by Joyce Brabner; Ray Dobbins; Mark Zingarelli (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2014-11-18
At War with Yourself by Samuel Williams
Publication Date: 2016-04-21
An honest conversation between Samuel C. Williams and his friend, Matt, who has PTSD. Explaining his symptoms and the impact they have had on his life, Matt shares how he has leant to cope with the condition and set himself on a new career path. This comic will be a source of support for anyone affected by PTSD.
In 1994, at the height of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, MK Czerwiec took her first nursing job, at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, as part of the caregiving staff of HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371. Taking Turns pulls back the curtain on life in the ward. Czerwiec joined Unit 371 at a pivotal time in the history of AIDS: deaths from the syndrome in the Midwest peaked in 1995 and then dropped drastically in the following years, with the release of antiretroviral protease inhibitors. This positive turn of events led to a decline in patient populations and, ultimately, to the closure of Unit 371. Czerwiec’s restrained, inviting drawing style and carefully considered narrative examine individual, institutional, and community responses to the AIDS epidemic—as well as the role that art can play in the grieving process.
How does one deal with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease at the age of forty-three? My Degeneration, by former Anchorage Daily News staff cartoonist Peter Dunlap-Shohl, answers the question with humor and passion, recounting the author’s attempt to come to grips with the “malicious whimsy” of this chronic, progressive, and disabling disease. This graphic novel tracks Dunlap-Shohl’s journey through depression, the worsening symptoms of the disease, the juggling of medications and their side effects, the impact on relations with family and community, and the raft of mental and physical changes wrought by the malady.
Dunlap-Shohl also blogs at Frozen Grin and Off & On, the Alaska PD Rag, about living with Parkinson’s disease.
Lissa is a graphic novel written by academics Sherine Hamdy and Coleman Nye, and illustrated by artists Sarula Bao and Caroline Brewer. The complete graphic novel was released in 2017 as the debut title of the ethnoGRAPHIC series published by the University of Toronto Press.
As young girls in Cairo, Anna and Layla strike up an unlikely friendship that crosses class, cultural, and religious divides. Their relationship emerges despite the imbalance bewteen Layla’s native working-class family serving Anna’s oil executive American father; their bond becomes enduring as Anna’s mother is diagnosed with, battles against, and succumbs to breast cancer. Five years and thousands of miles later, Anna learns that she, too, may carry the hereditary cancer gene responsible for her mother’s death. Meanwhile, Layla’s family back in Egypt is faced with a difficult decision about kidney transplantation for her ailing father who, due to his faith, strongly opposes such a procedure. Yet, Layla’s hard-won education as a young doctor places her at a distance from her parents’ traditional views as well as Anna’s own medical preferences. Their rapport is put to the test when these health crises reveal stark differences in their perspectives…until the revolutionary unrest of the Arab Spring changes all their lives forever.
This is the first of the University of Toronto Press's ethnoGraphic publications.
Go to http://lissagraphicnovel.com/ to learn about the story research, behind the scenes, how the story and book were created - and 39 minute film (small rental fee).
A graphic memoir about the treatment of mental illness, treating mental illness as a commodity, and the often unavoidable choice between sanity and happiness.
In her early twenties in New York City, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Rachel Lindsay takes a job in advertising in order to secure healthcare coverage for her treatment. But work takes a strange turn when she is promoted onto the Pfizer account and suddenly finds herself on the other side of the curtain, developing ads for an antidepressant drug. She is the audience of the work she's been pouring over and it highlights just how unhappy and trapped she feels, stuck in an endless cycle of treatment, insurance and medication. Overwhelmed by the stress of her professional life and the self-scrutiny it inspires, she begins to destabilize and while in the midst of a crushing job search, her mania takes hold.
Hole in the Heart by Henny Beaumont
Call Number: WZ 336 B379h 2016
Publication Date: 2016-10-14
On Mother’s Day 2001, Henny Beaumont gave birth to her third daughter, Beth. For the first four hours of Beth’s life, she seemed no different from Henny’s two other little girls. But when the doctor told Henny and her husband that their daughter might have Down syndrome, Henny thought that her life was over. How would she be able to look after this baby, who required corrective heart surgery and an overwhelming amount of care, and manage her other two children at the same time? Why did she hold such intense feelings of disappointment, resentment, and sadness toward this weak and vulnerable baby? Henny wondered if she would even be able to love her daughter. And if Henny couldn’t trust her own feelings about Beth, how could she expect other people to overcome their prejudices and ignorance about Beth’s condition?
Dana Walrath uses drawings and stories to chronicle three years of caregiving for her mother, Alice, who was in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The experience turned out to be a magical trip down the rabbit hole of memory loss, an outcome that inspired Dr. Walrath, a medical anthropologist who taught at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and who also studied art and writing, to share their tale.
“I believe I turned to art instinctively because I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. I needed to see it in black and white. Ironically, although my illustrations give me distance, they give others a close-up. They turned out to be far more personal than prose could ever be. I am hoping that my book will lead to more open discussion, and a greater understanding of the nature of domestic abuse. Abuse needs to be recognized, named, and stopped. I feel strongly that this is not only my story. It is the story of millions of families across North America. I have chosen a pseudonym because there are many ‘Rosalinds’ and I was just one of them.” - Rosalind B. Penfold
“What do you do when your child dies?” Rosalie Lightning shows us what Tom Hart and his partner Leela Corman did as they mourned the sudden, unexplained death of their toddler Rosalie. This graphic memoir, written and drawn by Hart, is a poignant recounting of grief. In the first pages of the book, Rosalie Lightning, not yet two, dies in the night, without any known cause or sign..... – Meagan Rodgers, Wink Books. http://winkbooks.net/post/145852870407/rosalie-lightning-what-comes-after-the-sudden
This is the story of a physician with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy being managed by an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. In the middle of a snowstorm, he receives his first of many staggering shocks from his runaway defibrillator. Learning to live in this new reality includes learning to live with the strong magnet that blocks the defibrillator signal, much to his own chagrin and the amusement of others.
Public Health – Seattle & King County has developed a 12-page comic book on pandemic flu in multiple languages. Targeting readers of all ages, this story tells the tale of a family's experience with the 1918 influenza pandemic. It also explains what to expect in a severe pandemic and offers tips to help households prepare. This publication was created in anticipation of a severe pandemic similar to the one in 1918. Comic book available in multiple languages in PDF format.
"I am in awe of Elisabeth El Refaie's work. Her interests take her to fascinating areas of enquiry âmetaphor and embodiment - while the clarity of her writing renders these subjects accessible to the rest of us. This is a hugely important volume which helps to explain what we may intuitively know but find hard to articulate: that graphic narratives of illness can be powerful creations that speak of the body and mind in deeply complex ways." --Ian Williams, Doctor, Comics Artist, Editor of graphicmedicine.org, and author of The Bad Doctor (Myriad Editions, 2015)
MK Czerwiec is the Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy & Media Engagement. MK has been making comics under the pseudonym Comic Nurse since 2000.
Medcomic is a series of educational medical cartoons designed to make learning complex medical topics easy and fun. Author, Jorge Muniz, is a cardiac electrophysiology PA from Orlando, Florida.
Katie McCurdy is a designer - over the years she used different visuals to communicate about her ongoing health issues with her doctors; timelines to illustrate her history, symptom drawings to show how she feels, and other visuals. On her website she says that she found that visuals helped her doctors understand her story, helped her to communicate more effectively, and that she could feel better when she could "see" what was going on. Her website includes pricing to work with her to organize and visualize your health story; " Tell your health story visually".
We’re a group of comics artists and writers in Seattle. We know all too well the difference it makes to have health coverage (see, for example, almost any graphic novel about struggles with cancer, mental health, STDs…). We want people to know that there are new options as a result of the Affordable Care Act and ample reasons to get covered.