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comics

Book Review: Dad’s Not All There Anymore

26 Sep, 16 | by cquigley

 

This is the first of a series of comic book reviews on the theme of Dementia. Reviews of Sarah Leavitt’s Tangles and Dana Walrath’s Aliceheimer’s to follow.

 

Demetris Cover

 

Dad’s Not All There Anymore by Alex Demetris

 

Reviewed by Harriet Earle

 

As an academic, I have a love-hate relationship with Wikipedia. I tell my students to steer well clear and never to rely on it for anything but the most cursory glances at a subject. However, I will admit that I use it regularly (and, in the website’s defence, the references can often be very helpful). There is absolutely a place in academia – and in life – for Wikipedia’s accessible and easy synopses. It is likely that, were I to require information on Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), I would soon be typing it into my phone’s app. However, one central thing that is missing from Wikipedia is heart. An encyclopaedia is not meant to be an emotional and emotive document; it’s aim is to inform, not to evoke emotion. However, when one is talking about many topics, such as LBD, the basic definition (or even an exhaustive medical definition) does not give any space to the consideration of the experience of the condition.

This is where Alex Demetris’ comic Dad’s Not All There Anymore comes in. Demetris illustrates his father’s diagnosis and eventual move to a nursing home. Demetris’ book is devastating and heart-warming. He tells the story through the figure of John. When the narrative opens, we are visiting John’s father, Pete, in a nursing home. John speaks gently to two other elderly residents, one of whom is supine on the floor, before meeting his mother, Sue, in his father’s room. The chronology of Pete’s illness is told in flashback; we follow him from diagnosis with Parkinson’s in 2003, to the diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia in 2007 and the progression of the illness until John barely recognises his father. The personal story is interspersed with carefully worded explanations of the condition, its genesis and development that are pitched perfectly for readers who are not medics. This is the true success of this comic – that Demetris is able to create a work in which his father’s unique story and the more generic definitions of LBD sit in conversation with each other. We are in no doubt that this is a personal story and that it is the individual nuanced experience of the disease that is the focus, while the medical information exists within the text as an informative touchstone for the non-medic reader.

Demetris’ artwork is both expressive and simple. Plain line drawings with very little excess details are highlighted by shades of yellow-green. In places, there is a flash of red. When Pete starts to hallucinate a small red-haired child, she lurks as a faded red and creepily expressionless figure; she is almost a ghost. In another instance, Pete asks John what he sees in the corner. John sees a rack of coats; Pete sees the bright, terrifying face of a clown, to the horror of the clown-phobic John. In curious contrast to the muted and gentle colouration, the panels themselves are crowded. Each page contains at least 6 closely-packed panels, each one filled with a bustling image, topped with a caption or bubble or both. There is a lot to take in – both image and text – and at times the effect can be overwhelming. Where to look? What to read first? I would not wish to suggest that that chaos engendered by the reading experience can come close to mimicking the full horror and disorientation of LBD but it may go some way to mimicking the mental upheaval of supporting a family member.

All comics artists have a style and in that style is a peculiar ‘something’ that stands out. For Demetris, it is his exquisite use of eyebrows to create expression. In my own research, I have written about the importance of the eye as a frame to govern the emotion of the face within the panel. Demetris’ characters have no eyes, only small representative dots, and so it is for the eyebrows to do the talking. It is impossible to overstate how expressive Demetris’ characters are, a feat that is particularly impressive, given the limited use of detail in their faces. In the visually congested panels, the clearly rendered eyebrows on each face guide the narrative and emphasise the humanity of the characters, in moments of both comedy and tragedy.

Ask most people to name something that terrifies them and they are likely to rank dementia high on that list. I imagine that watching a loved one battle with dementia is equally terrifying. In the carefully rendered faces of John and Sue, there is immeasurable warmth. Indeed, one of the most striking features of the plot of this comic is the seemingly unwavering devotion of both characters to Pete and their tremendous patience with him as the disease progresses. It is one thing to say of a sick family member “he doesn’t mean to be trying, he’s not well – I will not hold it against him” and quite another to live these words and embody them. Demetris is not telling just any story of LBD, he’s telling his father’s story. The personal nuances of the story are the central focus of the narrative and the most compelling part of it. Pete was a teacher and regularly admonished his son for using the word ‘innit’ (“Don’t say ‘innit’ – it’s bad English”). At the book’s close, there is a final glimpse of the old Pete and his grammar policing ways (“… shouldn’t say ‘innit’… bad English…”). LBD may have him on his knees but he is still there and it is to this that his family cling. This is the heart; this is what moves this text beyond the crisp, cold definitions offered by Wikipedia and other encyclopaediæ. Instead of receiving the bare facts, the reader receives an insight into the day-to-day experience of the disease and the ravages it brings to bear on the individual and those around them. Demetris has etched out a fine line between text book and autobiography and is walking it with skill, panache and immense heart.

 

Dad’s Not All There Anymore by Alex Demetris is available from Singing Dragon Publishers.

ISBN: 978-1-84905-709-7

Price: £7.99

 

Related Reading

David M R Orr, Yugin Teo. Carers’ responses to shifting identity in dementia in Iris and Away From Her: cultivating stability or embracing change? Med Humanities 2015;41:2 8185

Martina Zimmermann. Deliver us from evil: carer burden in Alzheimer’s disease. Med Humanities 2010;36:2 101107

Comics and Medicine Conference 2016

4 Aug, 16 | by cquigley

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Graphic Medicine 2016: Stages & Pages

July 7-9, University of Dundee, Scotland

 

Shelley Wall, PhD, University of Toronto

 

The 7th International Comics & Medicine Conference took place in Dundee, Scotland, from July 7 to 9, 2016. It was (as ever) a superb event: inclusive, humane, intellectually stimulating, and creatively inspiring.

The field known as “graphic medicine”, a term coined by medical doctor, comics creator, and scholar Ian Williams, explores “the intersection of the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare” (1). It’s a diverse field, ranging from the study of graphic memoirs and novels of illness and caregiving, to the creation of comics in medical training as a means of reflective practice, to the use of comics as an accessible means of communication in patient education and public health, and beyond. Each year since 2010, the Comics & Medicine conference has brought together a community of comics artists, patients, healthcare professionals, academics, caregivers, and others, to present work in progress, case studies, and scholarly analyses. In its mix of perspectives from clinical medicine, literature, anthropology, visual art, public health, media studies, education, psychotherapy, and many other disciplines, graphic medicine makes an exciting contribution to the domain of medical humanities.

The theme of this year’s conference, “Stages & Pages,” called attention to the performative aspects of both comics and healthcare. The comics page is like a theatrical stage; through the narratives enacted in that space, we can explore and question the roles assigned by illness, such as patient, caregiver, healthcare professional, survivor.

In keeping with this theme, the conference kicked off with an evening of actual performance. After warm, humorous welcomes from the Lord Provost and the Director of the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies, comics artists took the stage and performed their work, reading aloud or speaking to accompany a slideshow of images. This DeeCap (Dundee Comics Art Performance) event was both funny and deeply moving—a reflection of the power of comics to speak with incisive humour about life-and-death issues. Elizabeth Shefrin, for example, read aloud from her hand-embroidered comic about her husband Bob’s prostate cancer, accompanied by Bob himself on guitar, and enacted scenes from their relationship using puppets; the performance faded out on the suggestion of x-rated puppet activity. Animation student Jules Valera donned a space helmet during her reading, to enact the experience of “spacing out” during a mental health crisis. Dana Walrath, author of Aliceheimer’s: Alzheimer’s Through the Looking Glass (2016), about caring for her mother with dementia, punctuated her performance with impressive a cappella singing and hilarious impressions. “Laughter is a respite,” Walrath said. “It opens up new possibilities for ways to cope.”

The plenary sessions at the Comics & Medicine conferences traditionally feature a mix of comics creators and comics scholars, and this was the case in Dundee as well. Elisabeth el Refaie, the first keynote, offered a reading of spatial orientation in Ellen Forney’s graphic memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me (2012), drawing on conceptual metaphor theory and the semiotics of theatre to analyse the meanings of horizontal and vertical patterning in Forney’s page layouts. It was a fascinating, scholarly demonstration of how the visual language of comics embeds narrative meanings beyond what can be achieved in text alone. Veteran comics artist Al Davison in his keynote presentation later the same day, by contrast, gave a deeply personal talk, tracing the influence of his severe spina bifida, childhood trauma and abuse, and additional health challenges, on his artistic vision and technique. Davison is the author of The Spiral Cage (2003), a graphic memoir, and numerous other books. Comics creator, educator, and force of nature Lynda Barry, who delivered the final talk of the meeting, combined the theoretical and the personal, describing her own work and her teaching approach based on the central place of the IMAGE in thought and experience. A powerful metaphor emerged from Barry’s description of V.S. Ramachandran’s mirror therapy for phantom limb pain: using a mirror-box, a patient sees the reflection of their intact limb in the place of the amputated limb, and is thus able to unclench what they experience as a painful fist. This is what images do, according to Barry: they allow us to “unclench painful things in our lives.” With her colleague Dan Chaon, Barry also gave two intense workshops in visual storytelling during the conference.

Concurrent sessions were a similar and intoxicating blend of the theoretical and the deeply personal. “Moving Stories,” a panel I was privileged to chair, consisted of ten short presentations of completed comics work and work-in-progress, by turns political, critical, humorous, and gut-wrenching. “Comics as Medical Education,” on the other hand, presented valuable case-studies on the use of comics as teaching tools in medical and patient education. Other concurrents were interactive, such as “Diary Comics & the Diary in Comics,” which had participants experiment with the diary mode as a way to slow down and reflect on experience.

If I were a superhero, my chosen superpowers this month would have been to attend ALL of the concurrent sessions at this jam-packed meeting, and to give due credit by name to each of the speakers who presented. The sessions I attended were, without exception, inspiring and thought-provoking; at the same time (literally), the sessions I had to miss were just as rich, judging from the enthusiastic comments from other attendees during the social breaks. The conference programme, with information about all presenters, is available at http://www.graphicmedicine.org/graphic-medicine-2016-conference-stages-pages/.

From the first Comics & Medicine conference I attended, in Chicago in 2011, I’ve been in love with the profoundly democratic ethos of the meeting. Artists, patients, academics, and healthcare providers (not mutually exclusive categories) meet on an equal footing. Everyone learns something; everyone has something to teach. Presenters and attendees share a remarkable openness and willingness to be vulnerable, while bringing an acute critical gaze to the ways that visual narrative enriches and illuminates illness and care. It’s truly an object lesson in humane, engaged scholarship, creativity, and collaboration.

Congratulations and thanks to Andrew Godfrey, this year’s on-the-ground organiser, for bringing this meeting together. Godfrey is a comics creator, graduate of the University of Dundee’s MLitt Comics Studies program, and current PhD student in English at that institution; his own research focuses on the links between graphic medicine and performance, while his comics chronicle and reflect on his experience of living with cystic fibrosis. Special kudos to him for scheduling the warm, sunny, spectacular Scottish weather.

The Comics & Medicine conferences are, to date, a tri-continent event, having been held in the UK, the USA, and Canada. The next Comics & Medicine conference will take place in Seattle, Washington, June 15-18, 2017.

 

Reference

  1. Czerwiec, MK, Ian Williams, Susan Merrill Squier, Michael J. Green, Kimberly R. Myers, and Scott T. Smith. 2015. Graphic Medicine Manifesto. University Park, PA: Penn State UP.

 

Related Reading

Sarah McNicol. Humanising illness: presenting health information in educational comics. Med Humanities 2014;40:4955.

Ian C M Williams. Graphic medicine: comics as medical narrative. Med Humanities 2012;38:2127.

Michael J Green. Book review: Comics from the dark side of medicine: Thom Ferrier’s Disrepute. Med Humanities 2012;38:121122

Nicola Streeten. Book review: Matilda Tristram’s Probably Nothing. Medical Humanities (blog) 2014. http://blogs.bmj.com/medical-humanities/2014/12/11/the-reading-room-a-review-of-matilda-tristrams-probably-nothing/

 

The Reading Room: A review of Matilda Tristram’s ‘Probably Nothing’

11 Dec, 14 | by cquigley

 

Probably Nothing: A diary of not-your-average nine months

Matilda Tristram

Reviewed by Nicola Streeten

Probably Nothing

 

Aged 31 and four months pregnant, Matilda Tristram was presented with an agonising dilemma following a diagnosis of stage three bowel cancer. In May 2013, The Guardian newspaper featured an interview with Matilda Tristram (Williams, 2014). It included an excerpt from what was to become her graphic memoir. The examples were small comic panels she drew as a way of telling people she knew what she was going through. The dilemma she faced was this: if she had chemotherapy it may save her life but may also cause miscarriage or damage to the baby. If she aborted the pregnancy and had chemotherapy, it may leave her infertile. If she didn’t have the cancer treatment she would be likely to die. My memory of The Guardian article is that the drawings were in black and white, which they weren’t. However, the situation was rather colourless.

Fast forward to 2014. Penguin has published Tristram’s full story, Probably Nothing: A diary of not-your-average nine months in full colour (Tristram, 2014). Tristram is well and glowing; the baby is alive and thriving. Curiosity lures the reader. How did she make the decision? Was it all straightforward? And the biggest question, how did she mentally and physically deal with such a rollercoaster ride through adversity? For me, the curiosity comes from knowing that a similar thing could happen to any of us or our loved ones and we may learn how to respond from reading Matilda Tristram’s diary. This is the pull of the graphic memoir, especially around subjects of illness and/or trauma. The drawing style Tristram has used is easy on the eye, encouraging the reader to engage directly with the narrative. Her deceptively simple drawings convey immediacy, as if it is happening right now. It is a diary, as the title asserts, and the drawings call to mind the styles of other graphic memoirs, such as Engelberg’s, Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person (2006) and Matsumoto’s My Diary (2008). The reader is there next to Tristram, invited into the intimacy of her experience for the duration.

Is it just another cancer memoir? It is another cancer memoir, but not just another. There are so many different types of cancer, with no two experiences or drawn interpretations the same and Probably Nothing offers a rich addition to the growing genre of graphic medicine literature. Tristram’s use of colour is striking. Speaking at Laydeez do comics (2014) she explained that initially she drew all the work in black line only. She was reluctant to add colour later, because she felt it would make it a bit less true or less real, but she is pleased with the result. The other two memoirs referenced here used the starkness of the black line. There is something about the use of watercolour wash in Probably Nothing that adds to the air of not really knowing what will happen next. The colour is allowed to bleed into the paper without control. In much the same way, the lives in the narrative unfold without control. The colour is not the loud, bright, bubble-gum positive outlook of Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s Cancer Vixen: A True Story (2009), which conveys a message of I will survive. In Tristram’s work, the colour seems rather to signify a quietly positive approach, an attitude of hopeful for the best but accepting of reality. The full colour and high quality production connotes comic as art. Matilda Tristram continues to work as an artist, trained in animation at the Royal College of Art, and lecturing at Kingston University. The publication clearly distances itself from an association with mainstream Superhero comics.

The drawing style is inviting for a non-comics audience, but I was not able to read it in one sitting. It is too relentless. I do not mean relentless in its gloom and trauma, for it is a story told with humour and lightness. It is tempting to use the term boring, but boring in a Mike Leigh film kind of way, in other words boring is not the right word either. It is to do with the disappointing reality of reality. As a reader, perhaps as a human, I cannot be alone in my hopefulness for a magic answer to life’s ills and pains. It is therefore constantly disappointing to find that there is no quick and easy solution. The message for me, if there was one, from Tristram’s narrative of her experience, is to take life little steps at a time in the face of adversity. There is a focus on the day to day, hour to hour– the importance and meaningfulness of the domestic. It is her use of humour that brings these details to life. The relationships with her partner and family are conveyed succinctly. For example, her mum falls asleep regularly in the waiting rooms, which is delightfully charming and funny. When they spend the day wandering round shops together, it is normal and unremarkable. Then Matilda notices the shop assistant noticing her colostomy bag. It is the noticing of the noticing in these instances that creates the gentle humour throughout the narrative. The attention to food also elevates the mundane. The reader experiences a stew or cheese on toast as more delicious than an everyday supper or lunch would normally be.

Every page has sixteen small panels and text is contained under the panels rather than integrated with the image, as is the more common comics convention. Sometimes the panels are slightly irregular, other times in uniform lines. But the 16 panel pages repeat and continue, as time does. Hilary Chute notes that trauma is often understood as repetition, which is what she says comics do so powerfully through the visual repetition. She endorses Cathy Caruth’s notion that “to be traumatized is precisely to be possessed by an image or an event” (Caruth quoted in Chute, 2010:183) It is Tristram’s repetition of the format of small panels of images and the repetition of herself within them which makes the comics form so successful in her presentation of her experience. It is her use of humour that makes this work not boring and not just another cancer memoir but a memorable, educational and moving story.

References

Acocella Marchetto, Marisa (2009) Cancer Vixen: A True Story New York: Pantheon Books

Chute, Hilary L. (2010) Graphic Women: Life Narrative & Contemporary Comics. New York: Columbia University Press

Engelberg, Miriam (2006) Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person. New York: Harper Collins

Matsumoto, Mio (2008) My Diary. London: Jonathan Cape

Tristram, Matilda (2014) Probably Nothing: A diary of not-your-average nine months. London: Viking, Penguin Books

Tristram, Matilda (2014) Laydeez do Comics, Foyles Bookshop, London. 15 September 2014

Williams, Zoe (2014) I Discovered I had colon cancer while I was pregnant. The Guardian [Online] 18 May 2013. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/may/18/discovered-colon-cancer-while-pregnant (Accessed on: 29 November 2014)

 

Nicola Streeten is an anthropologist-turned-illustrator and comics scholar, and the author of the graphic memoir Billy, Me and You (2011, Myriad Editions).

 

The Reading Room

25 Nov, 14 | by cquigley

 

The Bad Doctor

A graphic novel by Ian Williams

Reviewed by Dr Ian Fussell

The Bad Doctor cover final  (1)

 

The Bad Doctor is the debut graphic novel by Ian Williams, himself a pretty good doctor, I reckon, by the insight and humanity shown throughout this book. It was published in June 2014 by Myriad Editions and is a beautifully presented book.

Ian is a physician working in General Practice and GU Medicine in Brighton. He is also the founder of the website graphicmedicine.org for which he coined the term “Graphic Medicine.” Following his training in medicine he studied fine art and achieved a first in an MA in Medical Humanities.

Not unlike the classic graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman, The Bad Doctor tells a number of stories simultaneously: that of Iwan James as a GP, Iwan as a sufferer of OCD, and Iwan as a troubled child. We also join Iwan on cycling rides, both alone and with his friend, during which they chew over life’s difficulties. As in Maus, these stories are all related and give the reader an insight into the person Iwan really is. This is what makes the novel stand out and retains the reader’s interest and engagement.

Throughout the novel we are exposed to some of the dilemmas and challenges experienced by a GP living in a small rural community and some of the problems experienced when working closely with partners who you can both hate and fall in love with. Relationships with work colleagues are always complicated and emotionally charged and this novel clearly demonstrates this.

We see young Iwan develop from an angst ridden teenager who loves heavy metal and worries that his behavior is the cause of certain traumatic events, into a man and a doctor who continues to be angst ridden. He fantasises about shooting himself and becomes possibly impaired by obsessive-compulsive disorder, a trait that somewhat perversely may actually benefit patient care.

We witness Iwan struggle with the dilemmas faced by GPs every day, including unpredictable medical emergencies, terminal care, signing shotgun licenses and managing bereavement. He cares about his patients and is naturally empathetic and not afraid to use self-disclosure as a therapeutic tool.

Rather like good poetry, comics and graphic novels can convey difficult and emotive subjects in a way that gives the reader a deeper understanding of the message. Explaining what GPs actually do, to our politicians and the media, by our leaders nearly always inadvertently sounds clichéd and trite and seldom succeeds, despite almost all the population having experienced going to the doctor’s at some point in their lives. Perhaps graphics should be used as a powerful political lever in our profession.

The monochrome drawings are deceptively simple and the text is minimal. This helps make the book very accessible and a pleasure to read. Each chapter starts with an icon that sets the scene for the following chapter.

It would be an oversight not to mention cycling. How many doctors do we all know that cycle or exercise therapeutically, if not obsessively? The benefits of spending time exercising and with friends are so obvious in this novel, that if not already doing so, doctors should be encouraged to start immediately!

Ian Williams Bad Doctor page 70 (1)

I also enjoyed the connection between Iwan as an adult and Iwan as a child. Now with access to social media, music streaming sites and platforms such as You Tube, looking back has never been easier, but this novel adds deeper meaning to this and shows how our young lives and older selves are a continuum rather than distinctly separate entities.

As a 50 year old, a cyclist and a GP living in a rural community who saw Ozzy Osborne on his first tour, it was impossible not to love this book. Ian Williams has possibly written a future classic, which must surely be added to the curriculum of all GP training schemes and might even help our leaders explain what GPs actually do.

 

Ian Williams Bad Doctor town (1)

 

Ian, let’s have some more.

Tell us Dr Smith’s story.

 

 

The Bad Doctor by Ian Williams.

Published by Myriad Editions, 2014.

Ayesha Ahmad: CFP: Comics and Medicine: Navigating the Margins, 22-24 July 2012, Toronto, Canada

14 Mar, 12 | by Ayesha Ahmad

The third international interdisciplinary conference* on comics and
medicine will continue to explore the intersection of sequential
visual arts and medicine. This year we will highlight perspectives
that are often under-represented in graphic narratives, such as
depictions of the Outsider or Other in the context of issues such as
barriers to healthcare, the stigma of mental illness and disability,
and the silent burden of caretaking.

more…

Ian Williams: Graphic Medicine: Visualising the Stigma of Illness: Ian Williams

4 Oct, 11 | by Deborah Kirklin

The contribution of the medium of comics (referred to in the plural to denote both the physical printed object and the attendant philosophy) to medical discourse has begun, over the past few of years, to be explored by academics interested in illness narrative, patient experience and healthcare education. Autobiographical comics and graphic novels authored by artists who have experienced trauma or illness can be rich sources of patient narrative, opening a window into the world of others’ suffering or healthcare experience. more…

The Drama of Medicine-All the Ward’s a Stage: 8th Annual AMH Conference, 11-13 July 2011, University of Leicester,UK

13 Jun, 11 | by Deborah Kirklin

Plans for the 8th annual conference of the Association for Medical Humanities are now well underway, with an exciting line up of papers, workshops and plenary speakers. Celebrated poet and doctor Dannie Abse will be running a session entitled Poet in a White Coat; Jed Mercurio, author of Bodies and creator of the TV series Cardiac Arrest, will speak on the Doctor as Antihero;  Professor Laurie Maguire, from Magdalen College Oxford, will explore Shakespeare’s guide to health and illness; and Matthew Alexander from North Carolina, a leading authority on the use of cinema in medical education, will begin the conference with a workshop and plenary address on this subject. more…

‘Comics & Medicine: The Sequential Art of Illness’: Conference, Chicago, 9-11 June 2011

20 Dec, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

This second international interdisciplinary conference* aims explore the past, present, and possible future of comics in the context of the healthcare experience.  Programs in medical humanities have long touted the benefits of reading literature and studying visual art in the medical setting, but the use of comics in healthcare practice and education is relatively new.  The melding of text and image has much to offer all members of the healthcare team, including patients and families.  As such, a subgenre of graphic narrative known as graphic medicine is emerging as a field of interest to both scholars and creators of comics. more…

Conference on Medical Narrative in Graphic Novels: Call for Papers

3 Dec, 09 | by Deborah Kirklin

Although the first comic book was invented in 1837 the long-format graphic narrative has only become a distinct and unique body of literary work relatively recently. Thanks in part to the growing Medical Humanities movement, many medical schools now encourage the reading of literature and the study of art to gain insights into the human condition.

A serious content for comics is not new but representation of illness in graphic novels is an increasing trend. The melding of text and visuals in graphic fiction and non-fiction has much to offer medical professionals, students and, indeed, patients. Among the growing number of graphic novels, a sub-genre exploring the patients’ and the carers’ experiences of illness or disability has emerged. more…

Can a comic a day keep the doctor away? GP Ian Williams thinks so

17 Dec, 08 | by Deborah Kirklin

In these uncertain economic times there seems to be a growing nostalgia for the more simple things in life. Home baking and dressmaking is on the rise and many families are anticipating a less commercialised festive get together. Although some of this return to basics is undoubtedly driven by economic imperatives, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that this enforced trip down memory lane can be strangely comforting. 

Which might, in part, explain the increasing appeal that comics or graphic novels have for grown-ups as well as children. In this posting Dr Ian Williams explains how far from being “just for kids”, graphic novels can actually be good for everyone’s health. His posting not only makes interesting reading but also provides a handy excuse over the holiday season to Simpson’s fans around the world. 

One last thing: Ian Williams can, alas, accept no responsibility for any enjoyable moments or unanticipated sniggers experienced by visitors to the site. These are strictly unintentional. Remember, fellow professionals: this is work, not play.

more…

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