Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mom's Cancer Notes: Page 18

I'm annotating individual pages from my book Mom's Cancer as they're posted on These are my notes on Page 18 (June 29).

From time to time, people ask if pages from Mom's Cancer are available as prints or posters. (No, sorry.) This is almost always the page they're interested in. We used this image for the cloth bags given to participants of the 2011 Graphic Medicine Conference in Chicago (with, as I recall, a kind donation from my publisher Abrams to help pay for the bags).

It depicts a long day at the hospital. The different colored backgrounds suggest that these exams are happening in a variety of times and places. Different tests, repeated tests, different docs and nurses. They also make a visually interesting checkerboard pattern.

The day and the page begin with recognizably drawn features: hands, feet, arms, legs. As the day goes on, the features become less concrete. Everything becomes an exhausting abstract mush. By the time Mom's given the final command to "feel," it's impossible for her to feel anything.

I'm surprised how strongly some people respond to this page. I think maybe I captured something many folks have felt but didn't quite know how to express.



The word 'Feel' makes the difference.Your creativity captures all the readers

Tim said...

Yes, the "feel" sums it all up, both mentally and physically. I also like the alternating "push" and "pull".

Brian, your "No, sorry," seems like the final word on whether the page is, or will ever be, available as a poster. I'm just curious why that is? Most people find a way to say "yes" when people want to hand them money.

Brian Fies said...

Thank you, Nathan.

Tim, fair question (and it's good to see you again!). There's not THAT much demand for prints, it's just a question I'm asked once in a while. On my end it'd involve choosing which images to make prints of, upfront costs of printing, then inventory storage, order fulfillment, postage. The unit cost of small press runs is high so the prints would be expensive. So I'm gonna do all that to earn $3 or $4 a print? I know there are "Cafe Press"-type print-on-demand places that handle a lot of that, but then I'd have no control over quality. If I were going to bother doing it, I'd want to do it RIGHT: good paper, ink and print. I'd rather do nothing than do it shoddily.

Not my final word, though. I'm open.