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.

#BookBingoNW2019: Comics

Comics is a magical and mysterious medium that can fill one or all of your Book Bingo card squares this summer! It’s up to you!

Take a look at this recent staff booklist of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Comics and Graphic Novels and maybe try out In Between, a collection of poetry comics by local creator Mita Mahato (and don’t forget to stop by the Ballard Branch where Mita will lead a graphic memoir workshop, Thursday, June 6th @ 6pm).

For the hungry folks out there, maybe some Food-themed Comics & Manga is what you need in your life? Delicious in Dungeon (currently at 6 volumes of manga) is a dungeon-crawling adventure full of food, friends, and monsters (aka the food). Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2019: Comics”

Seattle Reads: An Interview with Thi Bui

In celebration of Seattle Reads 2019, Jess Boyd spoke to Thi Bui about her award- winning graphic novel, The Best We Could Do (TBWCD), the 2019 Seattle Reads selection.

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An Interview with Thi Bui
by Jess Boyd

Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do is a story that moved me, my family and my community. It gave voice to feelings and frustrations that I had yet to articulate and acted as a medium to bridge generations and countries.

The story is a multigenerational saga told through Bui’s past and present selves. Bui generously shares herself at different moments throughout her life, as a child, as a sibling, as a new mother, allowing us to see the far reaching ripples of war, and the way that those ripples can become waves that carry people across oceans.

Jess Boyd: Where was the birthplace of your creativity?
Thi Bui:
I have to take a moment to allow myself to accept the compliment embedded in this question. “Ya not creative!” shouts my inner Viet.

Okay, it’s good now. I remember making things and daydreaming when I was a kid as a form of escape. Whether I was escaping my drab physical environment or tense emotional environment, I’m not sure … maybe both? It’s not like that anymore but that was how being creative started — first as an escape and then as a rebellion.

Why is it important to remember and reflect on the past?
We apes learn slow and we keep having to learn the same lessons over and over again. History keeps us humble and it also lends us perspective. Continue reading “Seattle Reads: An Interview with Thi Bui”

OverDrive Comics and ‘The Best We Could Do’

The Seattle Public Library has physical comics for children, teens, and adults available for checkout in all of our 27 locations, as well as through our mobile services. We also have comics available through our Hoopla Digital service. But did you know, amongst all of the mysteries, memoirs, and literary fiction e-books, that we also have approximately 1,700 “comic and graphic works” in our OverDrive collection?! This collection includes popular kids comics like the Narwhal and Jelly series, relatable webcomics such as “Sarah’s Scribbles,” award winners like Kindred… and even the 2019 Seattle Reads selection The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui!

Narwhal’s Otter Friend: Narwhal and Jelly Series, Book 4 by Ben Clanton
This is the fourth book of the Narwhal and Jelly aquatic graphic novel adventure series for early readers! While Narwhal enthusiastically accepts newcomer Otter into the friend-pod, Jelly reacts somewhat jelly-ously… (Clanton, a local author, won the Washington State Book Award for the first book in this series.) Continue reading “OverDrive Comics and ‘The Best We Could Do’”

Rick Riordan Presents

In early 2017, acclaimed author Rick Riordan, of Percy Jackson fame, announced he would be leading an imprint from Disney, with the goal of publishing “great books by middle grade authors from underrepresented cultures and backgrounds, to let them tell their own stories inspired by the mythology and folklore of their own heritage.”

He had been constantly asked by fans of Percy Jackson or the Kane Chronicles, “Will you ever write about Hindu mythology? What about Native American? What about Chinese?” Riordan could have easily written books about those topics, but instead decided to use his privilege to lift up the voices of those he could have just as easily overshadowed. Rick Riordan Presents leverages his position and experience to help put a spotlight on writers “who are actually from those cultures and know the mythologies better than I do. Let them tell their own stories, and I would do whatever I could to help those books find a wide audience.”

Thus far, two books have been released:

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Twelve-year-old Aru Shah lives with her archaeologist mom at the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture in Atlanta. She hangs out in Spider-Man pjs, dreams of spending more time with her always-traveling mom, and really wants to impress her private school classmates. After lighting a supposedly cursed lamp in the museum, Aru frees an ancient demon whose job is to awaken the God of Destruction. People start freezing in place, and things don’t look great for Aru. Clearly in over her head, Aru must locate the other reincarnations of the legendary Pandava brothers, journey into the Kingdom of Death (& Costco), acquire some magical weapons, and eventually save the world! Continue reading “Rick Riordan Presents”