The editor of ‘Menopause: A Comic Treatment’ discusses the recently released anthology, her approach to Graphic Medicine and what she’d like to do next.
MK Czerwiec is a cartoonist, teacher and nurse. She is the co-author of The Graphic Medicine Manifesto, and the cartoonist behind the graphic memoir Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371. She also runs the website GraphicMedicine.org.
Czerwiec’s new project is Menopause: A Comic Treatment, just published by Pennsylvania State University Press. The book is the first anthology Czerwiec edited, and she assembled an incredible lineup of comics creators and scholars to tell stories about the complicated personal experience and medical concerns of menopause. Alternately educational and funny and enlightening and heartening, the book finds a way to encompass many facets and experiences and perspectives, and in doing so, to offer a new possibility for people to understand what menopause is and what it can mean on so many levels.
Czerwiec and I met at last year’s Queers and Comics conference in New York City, and we spoke recently about her work, Graphic Medicine, and what comics can do to help medical professionals and patients learn about illness.
Susan Merrill Squier, Ian Williams, Morgan Sea, Rachel Lindsay and more presented at the second day of the Graphic Medicine Conference in Vermont.
The big news of the Graphic Medicine Conference came Friday evening, at Susan Merrill Squier’s keynote address: Graphic Medicine is going to seek 501(c)(3) status, making it officially a nonprofit organization. When co-director Ian Williams told me this the next day, I thanked him -— up until now, I haven’t ever been sure what noun to use to describe Graphic Medicine. Is it a movement? A community? Now it will be a nonprofit organization, although there are still many details to be hammered out.
Brigid Alverson reports from the scene of the 2018 Graphic Medicine Conference in Vermont, which is focused on graphic novels that describe the experience of illness and of being a patient.
I’m up in White River Junction, Vermont, home of the Center for Cartoon Studies and, for this weekend only, the Graphic Medicine Conference. Actually, the conference has two venues—it starts at CCS and moves to the Dartmouth medical school on Saturday.
The term “graphic medicine” may conjure up an image of a comic about healthy eating or the wonderful world of the circulatory system, but graphic medicine in this case has a more literary bent. It’s part of the field called medical humanities and focuses not on educational comics but on graphic novels that describe the experience of illness and of being a patient, embracing titles as disparate as Jennifer Hayden’s The Story Of My Tits, Ellen Forney’s Marbles and Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (I wrote a short primer on the topic for School Library Journal recently.)