29 June 2009

"Our 'Suck'cer Year" haha Just Kidding! (but seriously...)

Our Cancer Year by Joyce Brabner and Harvey Pekar is a comic book about a couple who has to deal with cancer. It seems like it is written in the wife, Joyce’s point of view, and how she is coping with the fact that her husband has been diagnosed with Lymphoma. She is very scared about her husband’s fate and does not know anything about cancer, or how to deal with it. At the same time when all of this information is found out, the couple is trying to move out of their current home, but it only exasperates things because the husband, Harvey, has just undergone surgery.
This was a very interesting story to read as a comic besides any of scott McCloud’s work because it does not involve any superheroes or imply any theory about comics themselves. It is basically a story that anyone can go through, and it very real. The only thing that bugged me about it was how Joyce seemed to take her problems out on everyone else. I understand how that kind of reaction is sensible, but it still bothered me how she acted like it was the end of the world. Sure, it might have been the end of the husband’s world, but he did not act like it was. He was the one who was trying to act normal and not pity himself for his problems. That is very admirable too because cancer is a serious illness even though I make it seem like he just has a common cold. The tone of the story is very serious but not too informative as well. Obviously, it is serious because it’s main topic is about cancer, and something as serious as this is something to inform others about, whether it be straight up facts about cancer , or facts are blended in with the story. There was not much information about cancer though, and I am surprised because in the story the authors mention how a lot of people don’t know much about cancer, but that is just a few thoughts.


  1. I disagree with you on how Joyce you think over-reacted. I guess I can understand what it could feel like to have to cope with the idea of losing the the one person that you chose to have forever. Maybe I'm a little sentimental or am thinking to much into it, but I think her actions were justified.

  2. Great thoughts, Thrash! I'm really glad your focusing on your response over your summary; it makes for much more interesting reading.

    I think you raise an interesting point about how the comic is not informative while the characters simultaneously complain about not getting enough information. But perhaps it's informative in another way. I don't anyone can argue this chapter is not emotional, and maybe that's the kind of information being presented: everyone copes with this kind of news differently, but all the ways presented are healthy outlets.

    Still, I tend to side with Amber on Joyce's "over-reacting."