Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Miriam Engelberg Update

My friend* Miriam Engelberg has posted a remarkable "Comic of the Week" on her website. No telling how long it'll be there (typically a week, though recent weeks have been anything but typical) so check it out soon. [LATER UPDATE: The "Comic of the Week" to which I referred has been replaced and doesn't appear to be available online. However, Miriam's comics are always worth a look; click the link anyway.]

I gather Miriam actually did this a while ago. Her self-described "web slave," Gina, informed Miriam's mailing list that she has stopped chemo, is being treated well by hospice, is tired and experiencing some symptoms related to her brain tumors, and is doing about as well as can be expected. I'm really hoping for the best for Miriam and her family, even if I don't have a clear image of what "the best" would look like.

Miriam is the first to admit she's an unschooled artist. During part of our NPR "All Things Considered" interview that was edited out of the aired version, Miriam said something like, "I'm not a real cartoonist like Brian." She was wrong (not least because I hardly consider myself a real cartoonist either). Yeah, I can draw better than Miriam, but her latest work demonstrates how that's almost irrelevant. The mystery of cartooning is how it transcends its parts to become more than the sum of words plus pictures. I think her latest "Comic of the Week" is first-class cartooning.

*Footnote on the use of "friend": It's presumptuous of me to claim to be the friend of someone I've e-mailed a few times and met twice. But I couldn't think of a better word. Besides, she did offer to let me sleep on her futon; if that's not a friend, what is?

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