Book Review by Gene Bild I’ve long thought an anthology by a range of ex-addicts and other sober folk telling their life stories was overdue. It’s now arrived as a graphic novel and that’s surely icing on the cake. Forty-four mostly anonymous souls were paired with cartoonists and then bared all, delivering gripping tales of sad descent and then some measure of redemption. I binge-read Bottoms Up! cover to cover in one sitting and here mention a few of its highlights. Accepting the premise that these are first person narratives, the mere fact of their telling implies the recovery,… Read More
Where to buy: https://bookshop.org/lists/recently-reviewed-on-graphicmedicine-org Medical Mentions is a group of graphic works. The graphic works reviewed here are books whose primary topics are not medical, and yet they cover a medical topic with some depth at some point in the work. The rest of the work might be fictional or nonfictional, while the medical portion is often technical and five pages or more. The reviewer will usually neither recommend nor discourage reading the work, except when the rest of the work is deemed outstanding or terrible, respectively. Typically, six graphic works will be part of the review with one paragraph… Read More
Guest Review by Gene Bild Books relating personal battles with drugs and alcohol naturally tend to feature the authors as characters. While Ollmann distances himself somewhat by fabricating a stand-in alter ego named Caleb Wyatt, Nagata renders her harrowing warts-and-all story of hospitalization and eventual semi-recovery realistically. The two stories are quite different in tone. Nagata’s story is a memoir, an account of her several-year binge and eventual hospitalization. Not only is Ollmann’s novel fiction, but he ensures our awareness of this with the book’s title. Ollmann’s book is gently playful and quite funny, and not the dark whistle-as-you-pass-the-graveyard humor… Read More
Come Home, Indio is the story of the author’s life. This memoir begins with tales of parental love and gut-wrenching instances of family drunkenness, and arcs through Mr. Terry’s own drinking years, eventual recovery and ends with the protagonist finding a kind of peaceful resolution, finally coming home by becoming a water protector fighting the DAPL oil pipeline in North Dakota.
Guest review by Rob Wells. Follow Me In is Katriona Chapman’s debut graphic novel, but she is hardly new to comics, having contributed to various anthologies and self-published eight issues of her comic / zine Katzine in recent years. I am fairly new to Katriona’s work, having only bought the first two issues of Katzine a few months ago, but I enjoyed those two issues so much that she quickly became one of my favourite current comic artists and I pre-ordered Follow Me In as soon as I heard about it. Katriona is an incredibly talented artist, whose beautiful, deceptively-simple… Read More
John Callahan was perhaps combining comics & medicine before just about anyone. This book, published in 1989, is mostly text, but includes many of Callahan’s health-related single panel gags. It also includes his story of alchoholism, traumatic injury, rehab, and life as a paraplegic who made comics. Callahan died in 2010. There’s a theoretical asterisk to his work in all of his obituaries, and might also be found when discussing it in terms of Graphic Medicine (which I have never seen done) and I’m curious to explore it. Callahan’s work generally remained on the periphery of mainstream acceptance due to its… Read More
I am constantly astounded, and somewhat delighted by, certain authors urge, or need, to expose the most embarrassing and intimate details of their chaotic lives to the scrutiny of their peers and public. Saturated with self loathing, Ames chronicles his bowel problems, sexual ineptitude, ambivalent preferences and progressive hair loss in this superb graphic yarn. Young ‘Jonathan A’ is in love with the idea of being a writer and dreams of living the archetypal life of his literary heroes: hard drinking, drug snorting and sexually promiscuous, but soul is also peppered with a generous dose of anxiety. A classic formula… Read More