05 April 2010

real issues in comics

This comic is about Harvey and his wife Joyce and how they deal with finding out that he has cancer. The comic begins with Joyce’s brother, Tod showing up. Apparently Harvey and Joyce are moving and could have used his help. Harvey has a surgery scheduled and is freaking about it. He gets ready for the surgery two hours before, I suppose he couldn’t sleep anyway at least I wouldn’t be able to sleep. Joyce is the level headed one who is not freaking and in fact makes some sarcastic remarks that are pretty funny. Through it all when he is going in to surgery they’re tenderness for each other is shown. The next panel Tod is giving Harvey a double thumbs up the reaction of someone completely out of the loop and not worried and any way. Time in this comic is a bit easier to understand when the there are little narration boxes at the top. It doesn’t spell out the time like in the first superman issue but relates it to things. On this panel the narration box states that their coffee is still warm when they see the doctor again. The doctor quickly and unclearly breaks the news that Harvey might have cancer then leaves abruptly. This leaves every one depressed or freaking out. When Joyce and Harvey ask for more information the doctor excuses himself in order to work on another patient, or a nurse will offer some well meaning advice, or as in the last case they are both told that there is more cancer or at least that is all they hear. They get home exhausted. Joyce finds that her Harvey is only worried for her sake and in order to protect him from that worry learns not to show that she is worried to. Harvey copes by writing his will and Joyce copes by talking to people. Harvey insists on helping move and when Joyce tries to stop him he wigs out and through bricks all over. Joyce again leaves so he doesn’t have to see her cry. Joyce goes from hiding and crying to cursing and yelling all in her own way of protecting Harvey. They move in to their new house and as they are setting it all up they find out just how much they aren’t alone in this frightening time. The carpenter Stephanie makes a comment that it meaning cancer happens to lots of people but “you just never notice, ‘til it happens to you.” Joyce starts joking around just showing that she has found her way of coping using sarcasm, though she still is very concerned but not just for her situation but for others as well.
The comic “our cancer year” is a story of how people cope with the worst news. The drawings look vary amateurish and not at all leaning towards realism but I found that with all the drawings that the feelings were conveyed better than they could have possibly been if the drawings were realistic. The people and backgrounds are both just simply drawn. The lines are able to convey quite a bit of the emotions the characters have and reaction to the situations they encounter. Something about the lines and the expressions on the characters faces that make you really empathize with want they are gong thorough.
This comic for me just highlighted once again how different women are from men. I can completely understand Joyce and her reactions to the situation. I can understand her desire to put an optimistic light on horrible situations your loved ones are stuck in. that needs to protect others even from knowing you feel so bad that you have to cry. Crying silently so that he doesn’t feel worse then he all ready does. I understand that intense need to protect the people you love. Protecting them even in the middle of your own pain. When Joyce yelled at Slim telling him that he’d be invading their privacy by going in to their apartment I nearly gave her a standing ovation in the middle of my living room which would have been awkward being that my parents had people over. At any rate my point is I understand Joyce and how she reacts all the way down to talking on the phone for hours and protecting Howard even from him and yes even by yelling at him. After doing all she can to protect the person she loves, from him, and from the insensitive stranger, she collapses in to their now bear mattress. I can even understand that sort of exhausted.
But Howard from the vary beginning I don’t get. Well that’s not exactly true after all I’d be nervous as well if somebody was going to cut me open and scoop out stuff from inside of me. My nervousness would probably result in me sleeping in not getting up early though. I suppose I’d fell just as defeated as he looks in panel four of page five. I suppose I understand everything except writing a will and throwing cinder bricks around but it’s probably just a coping disconnect not just a gender one. However I have to admit I don’t know how I’d react if I found out that I had cancer. Though I’d have to say my initial reaction would probably make tossing a couple of cinder bricks around look tame. Especially with a doctor like that way.


  1. you put some detail into this but you understand it like i do