Happy New Year! Hope your 2020 is off to a good start. Before it gets any further along, want to post an update and a look forward here in the form of a year-end review. Some of this post duplicates the list I put together on the Graphic Medicine site for the year in review podcast I did with my wonderful colleague Susan Squier, but there is much more here.
Comics I really enjoyed in 2019:
Mardou’s Therapy Comics (ongoing) have been so insightful. They focus on the creator’s personal experience of internal family systems (IFS) therapy, which, in Mardou’s handling, perfectly works in comic form. Gorgeously drawn and colored, they teach about self-care and self-support by recognizing and “being with” unresolved struggles, old hurts, and lingering fears that still live within us, impacting our experiences today.
The House by Paco Roca (released in English by Fantagraphics) This book shows us three siblings visiting their recently deceased father’s vacation home in an effort to fix it up to sell. In the process, like with Mardou’s work, we come to understand the present of these characters via their past. A wonderful meditation on place, home, and loss.
Nathan Gray (InkVessel) – “Dying Words Aren’t What I Imagined” (on Spiralbound), and “Cicely Saunders: The Woman Who Changed How We Die” (on Annals Graphic Medicine)
“How Mom Died” Stephen Wishman – (ongoing) on Instagram.
Highlights of the past year were:
Co-teaching my first full-length Graphic Medicine class at the University of Chicago. You can read a great story about that and graphic medicine here.
Medicina Grafica Congress in Zaragoza, Spain.
co-authored a chapter with Muna Al-Jawad in Research Methods in Health Humanities, edited by Craig M. Klugman and Erin Genttry Lamb
Upping my athletic activities – boxing, tennis, running, biking, weight training, and spin class.
My October Will Eisner Applied Cartoonist residency in Vermont
My comic “Ask A Nurse” included in WW3 Illustrated: Shameless Feminists
Now to look forward… In 2020 I am anticipate:
Speaking and doing a workshop at Syracuse University in January as part of their “Cripping Graphic Medicine” Series.
Teaching a Spring dying & death class via graphic medicine at University of Chicago with Brian Callender.
The collection I edited Menopause: A Comic Treatment being released in May. So excited to see this great work out in the world!
Routledge Companion to the Health Humanities release. I coauthored, with Brian Callender, the “Graphic Medicine” chapter. This book is the most expansive review of the possibilities of the health humanities and I’m eager to read it myself.
Less travel, more art made – making progress toward next book.
Updating this blog more frequently!
And, finally, building on my increased athletic activity of 2019, I plan to train for a late summer triathlon. I’ve been doing triathlons one way or another since I was a senior in college. At that time I was a resident assistant and I did a team triathlon with my hall director and hall chaplain. It was a terrific experience I have revisited about seven more times over the years. In all those outings I’ve actually never done a full Olympic distance triathlon (one mile swim, thirty mile bike, and ten kilometer run) by myself. Due to a chronic tendon injury in my right foot that hampers my ability to run longer distances, I’m not sure I’ll get there this year, but I’d like to at least do a solo sprint distance (half mile swim, fifteen mile bike, five kilometer run). We’ll see how it goes! Stay tuned to my instagram feed for updates.
What are your goals for 2020? What are you most proud of from 2019? Let me know in the comments! No matter what, hope this year holds much laughter and good health for you.