Short notice, but one of our keynote speakers, Hillary Chute is speaking at this one-day conference in Oxford on Thursday, hosted by the Torch Network, which looks fascinating.
“There’s something really empowering about telling your own story” So begins this powerful, mixed-media graphic tale. It is a phrase that encapsulates one of the principles of narrative medicine, and so graphic medicine, too. Many graphic stories deal with trauma; the ones I find most powerful tend to come from first hand experience, told in raw, unfiltered words and images. This is one such work. Hats off to Singing Dragon, purveyors of some excellent comics, for publishing this book, which challenges the misogyny and rape culture that seem to permeate our popular media and society. Part visual diary, part interior monologue, the narrative is not… Read More
Book Review by Kevin Wolf Everything about this graphic memoir is brief, but it packs a wallop. It’s only fourteen pages plus a four page epilogue, a foreword by Kate Beaton (Hark, a Vagrant), and afterword and closing thoughts by the author. Something Terrible is about surviving childhood sexual abuse and its continued torment into adulthood. The book is stark, in black and white with a gray wash and one color page and a just preceding color panel. The book is often wordless, allowing the images to carry the weight. This was a very courageous memoir for the author… Read More
Guest review by John Pollard. Trauma is a complex and dense subject. Developing something approaching a full understanding of it can take years. In Trauma is Really Strange, Steve Haines and Sophie Standing have produced a solid and digestible jumping-off point for those wishing to begin an exploration of the topic. It is clear from reading this comic that it is not just written for those who may have an academic interest in the subject: it is also appropriate for those who are struggling to understand their own firsthand experience of trauma. As in their other comic, Pain is Really Strange, Haines and Standing offer up a clear,… Read More
Here is another comic pamphlet from Singing Dragon, the imprint of Jessica Kingsley Publishers that has released a number of titles of relevance to Graphic Medicine, under the stewardship of Mike Medaglia. The author, Samuel C. Williams, tackles the subject of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by interviewing his friend, Matt, an ex soldier, who has opened up to him about his own PTSD. Walking the dog, Samuel asks Matt about his experiences during his 20 years in the army and Matt, who has been through therapy and so knows some theory, does a good job of explaining how trauma disrupts the processing of memory –… Read More
In this week’s Graphic Medicine podcast, the first in a series, we’ll hear two lightning presentations from the 2015 Comics & Medicine conference in Riverside, California. Both presentations discuss how making art and comics helps create meaning and understanding, and can, in some cases, change behavior. You can listen to an image-enhanced version of the podcast here: Or you can find the episode in iTunes here. First we’ll hear from Roderick Castle, an art therapist in Rochester, New York, who works with veterans. You can learn more about Roderick from his feature in this month’s “Art Therapy Today”, published by the… Read More
This series of three gorgeous memoirs shares Carol Tyler’s effort to investigate and retell her father’s traumatic experiences in World War II. Along the way we are also witness to struggles with her marriage, raising her daughter, her efforts to be a good daughter herself, and much more. Carol, a painter, has a stunning visual style, and she uses the landscape format of the book, meant to resemble a photo album, to her (and our) great advantage. Paul Gravett chose You’ll Never Know as the best autobiography/biography of 2012. In his blog post he wrote, …in the end what floored… Read More
Another story on the trauma comic, this one by National Public Radio in which the entirety of the comic can be downloaded, is available here. I love NPR, but unfortunately, based on the headline, they have not read this great piece by Dylan Meconis on how NOT to write about comics.
Use the Quicktime player above to view images along with the audio. If you don’t have Quicktime, you can listen to the audio-only version below. This wonderful panel, moderated by Michael Green, presents the creators of three unique and insightful graphic pathographies. Jenny Lin is a visual artist based in Montreal. She has created experimental narrative-based works in the formats of 2-D print, artist books, video and site-specific installation. She recently worked as a medical illustrator at McGill University and she currently teaches at Concordia University in the Print Media program. www.jenny-lin.ca. She writes of her presentation, In my presentation, Skinny… Read More
Use the Quicktime player above to view images along with the audio. If you don’t have Quicktime, you can listen to the audio-only version below. This week’s podcast is the keynote address Joyce Brabner gave on July 23 at the 2012 Comics & Medicine conference in Toronto. She opens by describing her talk as, “What happens to us when we tell these stories.” Brabner then talks about some experiences in writing reportage comics, primarily about young victims of war and other atrocities. She talks about collaboration with her husband Harvey Pekar, and she talks about her role as “character Joyce.”… Read More