holding it in my hand

I finished the cancer comic book. With the help of a really lovely woman named Kate Barber and the Publication Studio at the Williams College Museum of Art, it is printed and bound and is a real live book I can hold in my hands.

adventures of a left breast

I want to cry. The intense joy of seeing the physical result of seven years of work plus the deep sadness of my mom not being here, not seeing this, and the sadness of everything we’ve gone through… seeing it and holding it I want to cry.

Reading the first part of this book, my mom’s part, is the only thing that makes me feel close to her right now. When other people tell me they dream about her or feel her presence I get mad, because I don’t feel it. It’s too much for me to feel it, or she just isn’t here, and I’m so mad, because she’s not here and she’ll never be here again.

But she’s in this book. At least, a part of her is. 2007 Viola is here, and I remember all these scenes. Reading her story in her own voice with her drawings and collages and handwriting is comforting and devastating at the same time.

We made this together. And I finally finished it.

Now that it’s a real live book, organized and formatted, I’m going to send copies out to publishers and hope it gets made into a book you can actually buy in stores, at comics festivals, and on the internet. I’ll let you know when that happens. (Incidentally, if you are a comics publisher reading this, feel free to contact me.)

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self-portrait in orange hoodie (and more David Mack)

self-portrait in orange hoodieIn another reference to David Mack’s beautiful comic book, Kabuki¬†(which I am re-reading, again)– I am wearing a mask. Sometimes it’s on so tight I forget it’s a mask and not my real face.

Reading as healing:

“I opened the book and I was a child again. As I close it, I find that I am the new me. I guess that’s what books do. Take you places. Move you. Inside. And out. You are at a different place after you read the book…Than you were before you read it. In many ways…A different person…As well.” ~ Kabuki

“Do you think books help shape your identity? Or do they only reveal it?” ~ The Animal Doctor

Both quotes are from David Mack’s Kabuki, The Alchemy