Monday, April 09, 2007

Interview: Consumer Health Interactive

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that I'd been interviewed for an online article about cancer comics, a small cluster of which coincidentally came out around the same time last year (and of which mine was the first, I'm irrationally proud to say). That story, by former L.A. Times writer Psyche Pascual, is now available at Your Health Connection.

The story features Mom's Cancer, my friend Miriam Engelberg's Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person, and Marisa Acocella Marchetto's Cancer Vixen. It also provides a nice survey of what I'd call the adult graphic novel arena, touching on Art Spiegelman, Marjane Satrapi, Dan Clowes, and Harvey Pekar. Psyche interviewed academics and business people well versed in graphic novels and did more research than anyone who's ever written about me and/or my book, I think. I really enjoyed our interview and just wish more of our discussion could've been included. My only insignificantly tiny complaint is the subtitle (which Psyche probably didn't write anyway) that reads, "Whap! Pow! Bam! They're no caped crusaders...." The "Holy Moley! Comics Aren't Just for Kids!" headline exceeded its freshness date several years ago.

One paragraph I liked:

Graphic novels about health issues won't replace medical books and hospital brochures. They won't help readers decide on a course of cancer treatment or whether to seek psychotherapy. But they may offer invaluable support and solace for readers who want a breather from the grueling ordeal of treatment.

That sounds about right to me. I'd add that, in addition to support and solace, books like mine can provide useful, first-hand, honest information that readers won't find anywhere else. I don't explain carcinogenesis or oncogenes, but I did try to depict the everyday impact they have on real life--stuff you don't find in the textbooks and brochures. One of the main reasons I wrote Mom's Cancer was because I didn't find anything like it when it would've done me some good.

My thanks to Psyche and Yourhealthconnection.com, which is a division of prescription plan provider Caremark.

1 comment:

Ann said...

Nice observation, thanks.