Graphic Medicine

Ever read a comic story with a character that has arthritis? How about someone who lives with anxiety and depression? PTSD? Food poisoning? If so, then you’re already familiar with Graphic Medicine!

Graphic Medicine is a genre of comics (with a website!) that examines the intersection of the comics medium with the discourses of healthcare, providing an accessible and impactful method of communicating and sharing illness narratives. These comics cover the spectrum, from published graphic novels (El Deafo), crowd-funded anthologies (Corpus), self-published web-comics (Kate or Die!) and zines ((No) Pain: A Guide to Injury Prevention for Cartoonists), with Graphic Medicine sometimes the focus of the work, other times simply present in a particular character or storyline.

Last year the traveling National Library of Medicine exhibit, “Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well-Drawn!” was at the Central Library in May and June (2018), with an accompanying booklist created by library staff.

Here are a few notable Graphic Medicine titles accessible in the library collection that you can use to fill those precious Book Bingo squares (science, comics, challenges your worldview, etc.):

Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir and Steenz
Celeste, who has been living with depression and anxiety and has recently lost her job, takes a position as an overnight live-in archivist in a medical museum. After starting, Cel begins to notice strange occurrences that pique her curiosity, but also aggravate her mental health, as well as strain her relationships with new coworkers.

Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Women with Autism by Sarah Bargiela and Sophie Standing
This illustrated collection of personal accounts, case study interviews, and science facts explores the experiences of women on the autism spectrum.

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness and the follow-up My Solo Exchange Diary by Kabi Nagata
Kabi Nagata’s autobiographical comics examine her life through her twenties while at home with her parents; trying to get a paying job; experiences with living on her own, while at the same time struggling with anxiety and depression and family and social expectations; attempting to make a career at this whole comics thing; and trying to understand her sexuality and attraction to women.

Oh Joy Sex Toy, vol. 1-4 by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan
Erika Moen’s web comic is like the Consumer Reports for sexual health, with reviews for everything from sex toys to birth control, as well as fascinating interviews with healthcare providers and sex workers.

One-Punch Man, vol. 1-16 by One and Yusuke Murata
Saitama is strong. Very, very, very strong. He defeats his foes with, you guessed it, one punch. Saitama is consequently bored. Unfulfilled. Unrecognized. Listless. Possible solutions, in addition to finding a more durable opponent? Maybe Saitama will acquire an apprentice, or become an official pro hero?

~posted by Mychal L.

For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2019 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2019 on social media. Need a Book Bingo card? Print one out here or pick one up at your Library. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.

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