Graphic Novels Provide Insight Into The Illness Experience

The Drs. Henry and Janet Claman Medical Humanities Collection has added graphic novels focusing on personal narratives of illness.  The graphic novel (sometimes referred to as comics) gained new respect by taking on serious themes and important social issues in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Graphic novels are now part of most library collections and recognized as a powerful medium of entertainment and artistic expression.  In September 2001, graphic artist Art Speigelman’s powerful New Yorker cover became one of the representative images of the event.  Graphic novels have more recently been recognized as an effective way to communicate and broaden understanding of the experience of illness.

The following graphic novels were recently added to the collection:

Couch fiction : a graphic tale of psychotherapy / story, Philippa Perry ; art, Junko Graat
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor  WM 420 P464c 2010

psyc tales

Psychiatric tales : eleven graphic stories about mental illness / Darryl Cunningham.
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor  WM 140 C973p 2011




Hyperbole and a half : unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things things that happened
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor  WM 171.5 B874h 2013

bitter medicine

Bitter medicine : a graphic memoir of mental illness / Clem Martini and Olivier Martini.
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor             WM 203 M386b 2010




Swallow me whole / Nate Powell.
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor  WM 203 P885s 2008

Marbles : mania, depression, Michelangelo, and me : a graphic memoir / by Ellen Forney.
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor  WM 207 F727m 2012

alcoholicThe alcoholic / Jonathan Ames, writer ; Dean Haspiel, artist.
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor  WM 274 A513a 2008






Epileptic / David B.  HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor  WL 385 B1113a 2005t

CA made me a shallower personCancer made me a shallower person : a memoir in comics / Miriam Engelberg
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor  WP 870 E573c 2006





ru my motherAre you my mother? : a comic drama / Alison Bechdel.
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor  WS 105.5 .F2 B39a 2012




Can’t we talk about something more pleasant? / Roz Chast.
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor             WT 120 C489c 2014


These graphic novels join prior acquisitions:

cancer vixenCancer vixen : a true story / Marisa Acocella Marchetto.
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor WP 870 M317c 2006


View a few pages of this graphic novel.
(Roll over the image and click the play button that appears in the center of the image.)


our cancer yearOur cancer year / by Joyce Brabner and Harvey Pekar ; illustrations by Frank Stack.
HSL Medical Humanities/3rd Floor  WZ 336 B795o 1994






[Lynne M. Fox, Education Librarian]