I live in rainy Seattle where I make comics using primarily collage technique. I like cutting up paper and pasting the shapes together in order to build characters and setting—watching a layered story take shape in the process. In addition to making small comic books out of these stories, I am working on a longer narrative (part memoir, part fairy tale) about end-of-life care and its subsequent grief and pain. Weaving together traditional comics with collage technique and developing an assortment of characters (a girl with tree branches growing out of her chest, a sheep in wolf’s clothing, a not-so-abominable snowman who reigns over the forest, to name a few), it will explore not only loss of body, but of text, language, and of the narratives we come across or write in our own heads every day. For more background, this first blog post explains this website, the comics I’m creating, and how I got here. Thank you for stopping in. I would love to hear from you!
Last month, I gave a talk on my creative work on comics and grieving to students and faculty at the University of California, Riverside. I was invited by the lovely Dr. Juliet McMullin, an Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology, whom I first met in Chicago at my first Comics and Medicine Conference. Thank you, Juliet! The talk was hosted by UCR’s Center for Ideas and Society, which is funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. MK Czerwiec (Comic Nurse) was kind enough to create and post a podcast of the talk on the Graphic Medicine site. Thank you, MK!
The visit was inspiring to me. A number of students spoke to me after the talk about their own experiences with caregiving and mourning. These conversations stay with me and remind me that one of the main reasons I’m doing this project is for others—so they might be less alone in their grief. I am going to try to make a major push in my work over the next several months. Check back for more updates.