Guest Review by Adela Wu How can one make sense of global and personal tragedy? With simple, stark hand-drawn lines in the graphic memoir Rinse Spin Repeat, Edith Fassnidge paints a vivid landscape of her experience—and trauma—during the deadly tsunami that claimed over 200,000 lives in Southeast Asia on Boxing Day in 2004. The book’s title itself refers to the metaphor Fassnidge assigns to her emotional trauma: a cycle that drowns her in a giant, vicious wave. Everything seems idyllic at the start of Edith’s journey. She and her boyfriend Matt plan a trip of a lifetime in Thailand… Read More
Book review by Kevin Wolf The Shepherd is a supernatural graphic novel series of three volumes (so far) with at least one more in the works. I will spend less time here on Volume One, because it doesn’t have significant medical content, but I’m providing background of that volume for the reader to better understand the second and third volumes (The Path of Souls and The Path of Dogs, respectively) which do have more medical content. In the first volume and early in the second volume, especially, there are religious metaphors based on the New Testament; Andrea, the primary… Read More
Review of For Real (Issue One): The Oven by James Romberger By Kevin Wolf Though I grew up reading comic books, I rarely read stand-alone comics today. I usually wait for a graphic novel to come out, which might be a multi-comic story arc. Comics are often sold as twenty or so page “pamphlets,” often with regular frequency. Some single stories in a single comic have achieved acclaim (e.g. The 8-page story Master Race by Al Feldstein writer and B. Krigstein artist in Impact issue 1, March 1955 EC Publications; about a holocaust survivor encountering a Nazi war criminal on… Read More
Guest Post by Rebecca Bloom, LMHC, ATR-BC Art Therapist Instagram: rtext www.bloomcounseling.com When mainstream media began to cover that ICE was imprisoning migrant children in cages, I was on the Kornati Islands in Croatia. From a speck of limestone in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, I was doing my best to support my friends in the states as they told me about the unrelenting grief they were feeling. Living in a two room stone house with solar power, cold water only and Wi-Fi, I was sending friends photos of olive trees, street cats and sunsets trying to tell them we would find away to end this. I had been… Read More
Book Review by Kevin Wolf If I had to give a one word description to this graphic work it would be “Loud” or if two words: “Brilliantly Loud.” Dumb: Living without a Voice, a Graphic Memoir by Georgia Webber is brilliant because it’s a very smart work and because it’s visually stunning. This work is in black and white, with the loudness coming from the orange/red portrayal of the author/artist’s and everyone else’s voice. This graphic work shows the changes, often wordlessly, that Ms. Webber goes through to recover from the loss of one of her essential characteristics: her voice…. Read More
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