Year-end-review time, dear readers. This year I’ve picked a category for each day. Today’s category is graphic novels. Here are the ones that excited me most this year.
Things to do in a Retirement Home Trailer Park … When You’re 29 and Unemployed. Published by Myriad Editions in the UK. A young man’s story of becoming the primary caregiver to his architect father dying of emphysema. It’s colorful, it has animal avatars, it portrays hospice care accurately and sensitively. This book shows the redemptive power of art in the face of difficult circumstances. In this book, Nye provides a counter narrative to the notion that caregiving is “women’s work.” He shows us a strong male being tender and attending to the tedious details of caregiving. One of the year’s absolute best.
Marbles, Ellen Forney, Penguin. This book recounts the author’s diagnosis with bipolar disorder, her initial resistance to treatment (as she mistakenly believed her creative power would be deadened by medications) and her long road to stabilization. Half how-to guide, half personal memoir, the honesty and great visual appeal made this one of my favorites of 2012.
Spot 12, the Story of a Birth by Jenny Jaeckel. (self published) This is a very unique book indeed. In stark black & white drawings, with varied panel layout and employing unique but resonant animal avatars, Jaeckel tells the story of her daughter Asa’s premature birth and confinement to a neonatal intensive care unit. As a neonatal care nurse I introduced to the text said, every health care provider working in this area would benefit from reading this wonderful book. And the rest of us as well!