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Read Graphic Novels in New Monthly Book Discussion with Upstate Medical Library

18 months ago

Certain graphic novels make a point about crucial social issues.

New monthly event Graphic Memoirs: Book Discussion uses one a month to help combine the power of graphic novels and personal stories of illness and health.

That's the topic of this month's community library column for te Eagle News Online/Star Review.

Graphic Novel by Brian Fies titled Moms Cancer

The Oct. 26 edition of Graphic Memoirs will feature the Graphic Novel by Brian Fies, 'Mom's Cancer.'

 If you haven't seen the column yet, you can read it here:

A collaboration between the Liverpool Public Library and Upstate Medical University is combining the world of graphic novels with an examination of illness and personal health.
The monthly event is titled Graphic Memoirs: Book Discussion, and its mission is to bring a comfort level to participants as they relate to the shared reading selected by Jennifer Sullivan, Academic and Research Librarian at the Health Sciences Library of SUNY Upstate Medical University and co-presenter of the sessions with LPL staffer Edina Osmanovic.
The graphic novel for this month’s event is Mom’s Cancer, by Brian Fies. The title won the 2005 Eisner Award in the category of best digital comic for its original web version.
Graphic Memoirs meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, in Collaborate @ LPL. Register at The next sessions are scheduled for Nov. 30 and Dec. 28, also Wednesdays at 7 p.m. The graphic novel for November will be Drowned Ciity: Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans by Dan Brown, and for December it will be Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney.
“Graphic medicine is the use of comics to explore and communicate personal stories of illness and health. By centering on a patient, family member or caregiver’s point of view, these comics give voice to those not often heard in typical clinical discussions of healthcare. In graphic medicine, images and text work together to create meaning that neither can convey alone.”
Osmanovic said the new discussions have the potential to open a new range of topics to the LPL community.
“These books are taking on very heavy, challenging topics and making them pictorial documentaries that relatable to the reader,” Osmanovic said. “Subject matter such as LGBTQ, aging, cancer, addiction and mental health are just some of the areas covered by the National Library of Medicine as a way to encourage health literacy, education and healthy communities. Through graphic novels, we are able to discuss these topics in a different format and shine a different light for all readers to feel included.”
Sullivan said she hopes the event broadens experiences and knowledge.
“Anything that affects a person’s mental or physical health can be expressed through graphic medicine,” Sullivan said. “The best way to understand the incredible impact and benefits of this medium is to experience it. Comics speak to everyone and are for everyone.”

Register to attend the book discussion here.