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by Brian Fies
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From Publishers Weekly
D on't let the title put you off: collecting the Eisner Award–winning Web comic of the same name, this story is more about how a life-altering event affects an entire family than another Lifetime disease-of-the-week story. When freelance writer Fies finds out his mother has both lung cancer and a brain tumor, her attempts to fight the disease—including rounds of radiation and chemotherapy—pull her entire family into the struggle. Fies is gentle but honest in telling his story. He refrains from painting his mother as a saint, depicting her instead as someone getting through a horrible situation by refusing to acknowledge just how bad it is. Nor does he shy away from the more complicated emotions his mother's health generates, including a sometimes heated rivalry with his two sisters (knowledgeable "Nurse Sis" and empathetic "Kid Sis"). Fies is most compelling when he finds insight in small details unique to his mother's experience, such as the strength she draws from a leather purse her father made while confined in a tuberculosis sanitarium. The clean, simple comic-strip quality of Fies's art fits the story perfectly, highlighting the gravity of the situation while cutting away undue sentimentality. Mom's Cancer is a quiet, courageous account of one family's response to a universal situation. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In a suave comic-strip style rather like those of Gary Trudeau (Doonesbury) and Berke Breathed (Bloom County), Fies traces the events of his mother's illness primarily from the perspective of her three children, including "nurse sis" and "kid sis" (adult but the youngest) as well as himself. After a "mini stroke," his mother was diagnosed with lung cancer that had metastasized to the brain. A vital and positive woman who had been a model with hopes of Hollywood, she opted to fight the disease whole hog. Fies and his sisters pitched in to help her during the ensuing debilitation, seeing her through to tentative remission and an -eleventh-hour (as it happened) move to Hollywood with kid sis. Depicting a family dependably if warily dealing, not without anger and feelings of inadequacy, with each crisis and change that cancer brings, Fies' book may be one of the most well balanced contributions to the literature of coping with cancer. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Each year, approximately 1.5 million people in the United States and Canada are diagnosed with cancer. This is one family's story.
Winner of the 2005 Eisner Award in the category of Best Digital Comic for the original Web version, Mom's Cancer is now available as a graphic novel. An honest, unflinching, and sometimes humorous look at the practical and emotional effect that serious illness can have on patients and their families, Mom's Cancer is a story of hope-uniquely told in words and illustrations.
Brian Fies is a freelance journalist whose mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. As he and his two sisters struggled with the effects of her illness and her ongoing recovery from treatment, Brian processed the experience in his journal, which took the form of words and pictures.
The story that came to be known as "Mom's Cancer" first gained notice on the internet. It was posted anonymously, with the intention of sharing information and insights gained from his family's experience. Thanks to the words and illustrations of Brian Fies, readers have already responded that they were surprised and gratified to realize that they weren't alone. Abrams Image is proud to bring this story to a whole new audience.
About the Author
BRIAN FIES is a writer and cartoonist who lives in Northern California with his wife, twin teenage daughters, and three cats. Mom's Cancer is his first graphic novel.
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