Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Reader's Diary #1631- Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner (writers), Frank Stack (artist): Our Cancer Year

I was surprised to find, as I began Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner's Our Cancer Year, that so much of the story was not about Harvey's cancer, as the title would imply, but rather the Gulf War and how it affected the lives of Joyce's young friends.

This would soon change, moving these folks and this moment in history to the background. The cancer, not surprisingly, became all-consuming. This change in pacing and focus was brilliant. Harvey and Joyce's struggle was almost palpable.

I wasn't completely taken by Frank Stack's art, however. The settings were bleak, scratchy and inky, fitting the tone of the book wonderfully. I was less taken with his caricatures, or rather the inconsistency in his caricatures. Later in the book it made more sense that Harvey's look varied from panel to panel as the cancer and treatment took its toll on his physical appearance. It doesn't however explain why there was so much variation with other characters.

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