I am not a huge fan of graphic novels or comics, but I do like memoir, and people in my family have suffered with different disorders of the brain, so the topic of this one was one which definitely interested me. My 17 year old daughter has aspirations to join the field of illustration, so I try to try new things to enter her world.
This book blew me away.
The information is presented in a clear way, giving the lay person info about Parkinson’s, from both the medical side and the emotional side of the person with the disease. Because words are fewer than in a traditional written memoir, each word is even more significant, and the writer and artist relies on the panels to help the story.
Peter Dunlap-Shohl was working as a cartoonist at the Anchorage Daily News when he was given a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. He was too young. His livelihood was at stake. He was worried about having to subject his family to a long slow decline.
This graphic was particularly resonant for me. He’s running and the description jumped out at me: “The more I try to unravel the reasoning that led to this moment, the more tangled it gets.”
The other memorable frame uses three frames to continue the narrative.
Whether you are curious about Parkinson’s, a fan of comics or graphic literature, or memoir in general, I heartily recommend this book.
Every word counts and the art helps tell the story.