Date Completed: 2/14/16
Harrison’s style was really effective for the subject matter. A graphic memoir, Harrison displays a comic on one side of a spread and talks out her feelings and thought processes on the other. Her essays cover every topic I could imagine asking someone who I knew had cancer. She explores the good and the bad components of having cancer, as well as all of her feelings. She shares small moments of joy and silver linings as well as the days when she feels like a fraud. She talks about menopause and being unable to get out of bed because of the pain of her cancer.
This is not a book about getting better, recovering from cancer, and getting your life back. No, Harrison’s point (I believe) is more to share how it feels to have incurable cancer, to know one day you will probably die from it, and all the components that take place in life along the way. She’s amazingly optimistic about her life. I actually had a lot of really great insights about myself thanks to reading it, mostly having to do with my anxiety and how I perceive it vs. how I think others perceive it.
The only part I didn’t quite like was her drawing style – that is to say, I find the facial structure of her cartoons to be a bit intimidating and scary, overly wide and pointy. At the same time, though, why do cartoons have to be beautiful? The drawing is not the point, the drawing is a way to get the brain thinking differently, and the story told in words is more the point.
Teva Harrison is an artist, writer, and cartoonist. She combines all three in this beautiful graphic memoir. You can find out more about Teva’s life by reading her memoir, to be published in March, or visiting her website!