by Tenli Yavneh In Briana Loewinsohn’s graphic memoir Ephemera, we are drawn into the emotional world of a woman searching backward in time for memories of her mother, who died when the author was a child. The mother was mostly absent during Loewinsohn’s childhood due to mental health issues, eventually dying of a related cause, probably suicide, though the author does not state that explicitly. Loewinsohn was quite young when the events of the book took place, and her adult desire to make sense of her memories is portrayed in bookended sections around the core of her childhood story,… Read More
It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth – An auto-bio-graphic-novel
Medical and potential trigger issues: eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, sexual assault, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), alcoholism, mental health, suicide, death, grief Review by Alison Kent Lucille by Ludovic Debeurme is a startlingly beautiful book that starts out with a young woman walking through the woods. Her cellphone goes off; it’s her mother. She lies, saying she didn’t take a detour home from school. The woods are her only apparent solace. Socially awkward and full of self-doubt, it quickly becomes apparent that she is also seriously anorexic. Her solitary sexual explorations fill her with more self-loathing than relief. She is… Read More
Medical Mentions Book Review VI
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 for each. Prior Medical Mentions… Read More
The Best of Assigned Male
What’s So Funny?
What’s So Funny? A Cartoonist’s Memoir is one long therapy session or twenty-six sessions (aka, chapters). It includes 107 drawn illustrations, mostly the author’s single panel cartoons from The New Yorker, and a few family photographs. I highly recommend this work for its honesty, portrayal of some inner working of this cartoonist, and serious and not-so-serious laughs.
Guest Review by A. David Lewis In her book Comics and the Body: Drawing, Reading, and Vulnerability, Eszter Szép analyzes Joe Sacco’s The Fixer: A Story from Sarajevo in terms of haptic vision. Drawing on the work of Laura U. Marks, Szép explains haptic vision as the visible made tactile, “a mode of visual perception that is synesthetic in nature: It connects tactile and kinesthetic sensibilities with vision without the actual act of touch” (120). She describes the thickly cross-hatched backgrounds of The Fixer as “haptically charged” (121), causing the reader to pause and to experience Sacco’s own embodied… Read More
This Week in Graphic Medicine (10/26/18)
‘This Week in Graphic Medicine’ highlights relevant articles (and tweets) about comics in medicine published during the week (Saturday – Friday). Links are typically presented without commentary, unless clarification of relevance is necessary, with credit given to those who flagged them up where possible. So without further ado… Matthew’s Pick of the Week… This week’s pick comes with a content warning for suicide. As many of you know, I am a huge fan of Lunarbaboon, a webcomic series about parenting, depression, and nerd culture (my description). I periodically feature them below – but not every week and certainly not every… Read More
Years of the Elephant
Willy Linthout’s only son, Sam, commited suicide in 2004. This remarkable, poignant work follows Linthout’s thinly disguised avatar, Charles Germonprez, through the awful months and years of grief following that tragic event. The lines between reality and fiction, perception and fantasy are blurred as Charles struggles to carry on living without his son, Jack. His wife is present in the strory only as an ‘off screen’ voice, emphasizing the developing gulf between the two bereaved parents, who are trying to cope in their own different ways, their marriage heading towards breakdown. Jack becomes a real presence as the silent, yet… Read More