Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mom's Cancer Notes: Page 2

I'm annotating individual pages from my book Mom's Cancer as they are posted on These are my notes on Page 2 (April 27). 

In answer to a question already posted on the page, Nurse Sis is my sister, and she's a registered nurse. You'll get to know the characters pretty well.

I think this page is a fair representation of the conversation Nurse Sis and I had that night. It was about this one-sided. I didn't quite know what to make of Mom's episode or how seriously to take it. We didn't realize it was just the start.

I was watching TV when my sister called, though I didn't remember exactly what. When it came time to portray it the comic, I wanted to draw myself watching some program I'd actually watch that would also say something about the "Brian" character.

I settled on the "Powerpuff Girls," which a clever cartoon series my daughters and I enjoyed together, and wouldn't have been out of character for me to enjoy by myself, either. I chose that particular image because I own it--that is to say, I bought the transparent layered cels the animators drew and painted to make that particular scene. They're framed and hanging on my wall. 

I'll let you conclude what that says about me.

By the way, owning the animation cels doesn't convey any particular right to reproduce them. The Powerpuff Girls are copyrighted and I respect other people's intellectual property as I'd hope they'd respect mine. But Fair Use allows the use of copyrighted material in transformative works of art (Warhol, Lichtenstein, etc.) and I was pretty sure that reproducing one frame of a cartoon in tiny black and white to reveal something about a character in a graphic novel about cancer was transformative enough to pass.

Just wanted you to know I gave that some thought . . .

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