Update: The use of facial coverings is strongly encouraged everywhere in the University Library, but facial coverings are required in all library classrooms through October 7.
Get ready: Next week is Will Eisner Week! The SDSU Library is pleased to once again recognize Will Eisner (1917-2005) and his remarkable contributions to the Comic Arts. Timed to coincide with the March 6th anniversary of his birth, Will Eisner Week (March 1-7, 2021) is celebrated annually by comics fans, schools, libraries, museums and bookstores across the country. Eisner Week celebrates comics, graphic novel literacy, free speech, and the legacy of Will Eisner. Creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and many others, Eisner has been nicknamed the 'father of the Graphic Novel.' One of the comic industry's most prestigious awards, the Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards, is named after him. Recognized as the 'Oscars' of the American comic book industry, the Eisners are presented annually at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
In the spirit of comic book mash-ups, I thought it might be fun to hold a crossover event this year between comics and other national awareness and celebration campaigns that take place annually during the month of March. According to the National Day Calendar website, March is a month to raise awareness of and/or celebrate everything from Colorectal Cancer to Umbrellas to Celery. I often joke, “There’s a comic for that.” Let’s see if there really is!
March is the national month for awareness of Endometriosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Kidney, Trisomy (Down, Edward and Patau syndromes), Breast Implants and Colorectal Cancer. Graphic Medicine explores the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare. To find out more, visit https://www.graphicmedicine.org/. (*Note: not all of the comics listed below fall into the official category of Graphic Medicine.)
Go with the Flow
by Karen Schneemann and Lily Williams (Authors)
First Second, 2020
High school students embark on a crash course of friendship, female empowerment, and women's health issues. Includes one girl's struggle with endometriosis.
Keiler Roberts (Author)
Koyama Press, 2018
A woman deals with pregnancy, child-rearing, art-making, mental illness, and a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.
Mark Millar (Authot), Leinil Francis Yu (Penciller), Gerry Alanguilan (Inker), Clayton Cowles (Colorist)
Simon Pooni, a twelve-year-old boy, inherits multiple sclerosis and it quickly disables him. One day, a talking monkey named Ormon appears and tells Simon he has been chosen out of six billion souls to have a magic wish granted. Simon rises, walks, and becomes the greatest superhero the world has ever known!
Medikidz Explain Multiple Sclerosis: What's up with Ryan's Mum?
Kim Chilman-Blair and Ian Rimmer (Authors)
Medikidz Publishing, 2012
Explains the symptoms and causes of the central nervous system disease multiple sclerosis.
Christos Gage (Author) and Chris Samnee (Illustrator)
A killer known as Henry the Eighth leaves a trail of decapitated corpses. For NYPD detective Adam Kamen, reeling from a personal tragedy and bitter divorce, cracking the "Henry" case offers a chance to get his life back on track--until a freak accident leaves him with a bizarre brain injury. When he recovers, Adam's perceptions of time are altered. He soon becomes convinced that his condition is tied to the "Henry" killings and that the key may lie in the ancient art of trepanation, the macabre ritual practice of drilling holes in the skull to achieve enlightenment.
Signature Wound: Rocking TBI
G B Trudeau (Author)
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010
Looks at the impact of combat on American soldiers in which B.D. helps one of his men whose vehicle was blown up causing him to lose an eye and suffer from traumatic brain injury, or TBI.
Five Days to Die
Andy Schmidt (Author), Chee (Illustrator), David Finch (Illustrator)
IDW Publishing, 2010
Ray Crisara, a tough cop who's survived a terrible car accident, discovers his wife is dead and his daughter is in critical condition. Believing this was a planned hit by the city's drug lord he's been pursuing, Ray's brain injury leaves him five days before he dies to track the killer or be there for his little girl. His clock is ticking.
Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible
Suzanne Kamata (Author)
Aiko Cassidy, a fourteen-year-old with Cerebral Palsy, tired of posing for the sculptures that have made her mother famous, dreams of going to Japan to meet her father and become a great manga artist, but takes a life-changing trip to Paris, instead.
Mort Walker (Author)
Charlton Comics, Vol. 1, no. 1, January, 1970
A promotional item for the Cerebral Palsy Association, Oakland, Calif.
The Kidneys: A Graphic Novel Tour
Joeming W Dunn (Author) and Rod Espinosa (Illustrator)
Magic Wagon, 2010
Ms. Hansen and the Explorers are very interested in learning everything they can about the human body. But they aren't alone! The Zelmans, Xeni and Zeno, have come from their planet to learn about Earth's beings too! They travel through the circulatory system into the bean-shaped kidneys, and out through the urinary system to learn how the kidneys filter waste and perform its other functions. Come along as the Explorers and their favorite guests tour the human kidneys.
Lissa: A Story About Medical Promise, Friendship, and Revolution
Sherine Hamdy and Coleman Nye (Authors), Sarula Bao and Caroline Brewer (Artists)
University of Toronto Press, 2017
A friendship is put to the test as they each face a family health crisis. Gulfs of misunderstanding emerge, as Anna deals with her family history of breast cancer, and Layla makes difficult decisions about her father's kidney failure.
Hole in the Heart: Bringing up Beth
PSU Press, 2016
A graphic memoir of the author's emotions and the challenges and decisions she faces in raising a child with Down syndrome.
Superb Vol. 1: Life After the Fallout
David Walker and Sheena Howard (Authors); Ray-Anthony Height (Illustrator); Le Beau L. Underwood (Inker)
Oni Press, 2017
Kayla Tate has returned to Youngstown because her parents are scientists for Foresight. Kayla has reunited with her childhood friend, Jonah Watkins, a young man with Down syndrome. Kayla and Jonah are learning about each other again, as a mysterious new superhuman named Cosmosis has become the Internet sensation as the hero of Youngstown. Kayla discovers that Cosmosis . . . is Jonah!
1000 Ways to Die
Neo Edmund and Ralph Tedesco (Authors)
1000 ways to die is a compelling look at the science of living, combined with the randomness of death - all with a dash of Darwinism. This shocking graphic novel details twenty random ways unsuspecting people have met their demise while also explaining the scientific causes behind each outrageous death. From snorting bath salts to swallowing jellyfish to purchasing cheap breast implants.
What's Up with Our Dad?: Medikidz Explain Colorectal Cancer
Kim Chilman-Blair (Author) and Shawn DeLoache (Illustrator)
American Cancer Society, 2013
Colorectal cancer is explained in graphic novel format in this informative story that makes the science behind cancer accessible to young readers.
Business and Finances
March is the national month for Asset Management and Credit Education.
Exploring a New Frontier - Credit
Rose Red Elk (Author) and Matthew Barkhausen (Illustrator)
U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, 2014
Available Online: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/233-188_story4_s.pdf
The Empowerment Saga is a series of stories to engage youth 14-18 years of age in developing basic financial skills so they will learn how to build and preserve their own financial wealth. These stories, offered in colorful comic-style graphics, are reservation-based in order to bring "home" to Native youth the message of handling their finances from an early age.
The Story of Consumer Credit
Al Wenzel (Author)
Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 2002
Discussion of consumer credit and interest rates presented in comic book format through the story of three young people and their friend's pursuit of a college basketball career.
Identity and Equality
March is Women’s History Month as well as Irish-American Heritage Month.
Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights
Mikki Kendall (Author) and A D'Amico (Illustrator)
Ten Speed Press, 2019
A graphic history of the fight for women's rights.
Mine!: A Celebration of Liberty and Freedom for All Benefiting Planned Parenthood®
Joe Corallo and Molly Jackson (Editors)
Comicmix LLC, 2017
Stories about trailblazing women, civil rights leaders, a person's first time going to a PP clinic, debunking myths about sex, STI screenings, HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, fantastical stories with superheroes, Greek mythology, and a future both with and without Planned Parenthood.
Cousin Joseph: A Graphic Novel
Jules Feiffer (Author)
Big Sam sees himself as a righteous, truth-seeking patriot, defending the American way, as his Irish immigrant father would have wanted, against a rising tide of left-wing unionism, strikes, and disruption that plague his hometown.
Bringing Up Father, Starring Maggie and Jiggs
George McManus (Author)
Bonanza Books, 1973
Created by George McManus in 1913, Bringing Up Father tells the story of Irish-American Jiggs, a former bricklayer, and his wife, Maggie, an ex-laundress, who achieve sudden wealth and all the trappings associated with it.
National Athletic Training and National Cheerleading Safety are both honored during the month of March.
Taiyō Matsumoto (Author) ; Michael Arias; Deron Bennett
Viz Media, 2020
Ace high school table tennis players push their passion to the limit in this story of self-discovery. As one of the best players in school, all hopes are on Makoto Smile Tsukimoto to win the regional high school tournament, but winning is not what Smile really wants to do. Will the fierce competition to be number one bring out his best or drive him away from the game?
Gene Luen Yang (Author)
First Second, 2020
Autobiographical comic. Gene lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about. The men's varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that's been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he's seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn't know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons's lives, but his own life as well.
A Map to the Sun
Sloane Leong (Author)
First Second, 2020
Ren helps form a women's basketball team at her high school. With Ren's new friends and Luna all on the basketball team, the lines between their lives on and off the court begin to blur. During their first season, this diverse and endearing group of teens are challenged in ways that make them reevaluate just who and how they trust.
Eto Mori (Author) and Ruzuru Akashiba (Illustrator)
Yen Press, 2019
As Tomoki's natural genius for diving blossoms under the guidance of Coach Asaki, his relationships with the people around him sour. But even while suffering from the growing rifts in his life, Tomoki has to retain his focus as the trial meet for the Beijing training camp looms.
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong
Prudence Shen (Author) and Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator)
First Second, 2013
Charlie is the laid-back captain of the basketball team. Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. Their unlikely friendship nearly bites the dust when Nate declares war on the cheerleaders and they retaliate by making Charlie their figurehead in the ugliest class election campaign the school has ever seen. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms-- but not both. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving? Nothing can possibly go wrong."
Vampire Cheerleaders Must Die!
Adam Arnold (Author) and Michael Shelfer (Illustrator)
Seven Seas, 2013
Lori Thurston and her coven of vampire cheerleaders have operated under the radar within the halls of Bakertown High School. As well-intentioned vampires with lots of school spirit, they live by a code of honor: they never feed from fellow students, they never drink more than two pints of blood from the same victim at one time, and most importantly...they never, ever kill.
Food and Nutrition
March is a month to celebrate food! It’s National Celery, Flour, Frozen Food, Noodles, Peanut, Sauce, Caffeine and Nutrition month.
You didn’t think I could do it, did you? Find a comic book about celery?
Pogo's Sunday Punch
Walt Kelly (Author)
Includes a comic strip titled, “Hearts of celery.”
Let's Make Ramen!: A Comic Book Cookbook
Hugh Amano and Sarah Becan (Authors)
Ten Speed Press, 2019
A comic book cookbook with accessible ramen recipes for the home cook.
Is this a TRIPLE crossover?! Assuming you embrace the double-meaning for Peanuts here, sure!
Peanuts Lunchtime Cookbook
Charles M Schulz (Author)
Ballantine Books, 2006
This delicious collection of recipes and comic bites features Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the whole Peanuts gang!
Recipes to the Rescue: Thrilling Kitchen Adventures… Just in the Nick of Time!
Chuck Smothermon (Editor) and Lou Brooks (Editor and Illustrator)
Better Homes & Gardens Books, 2000
In comic book format, presents a collection of recipes for the time-constrained individual.
Cooking Comics!: Simple Skills, Fantastic Food
Lauren Thompson (Author) and Tsukuru Anderson (Illustrator)
One Peace Books, 2016
A fully illustrated comic-book-style introduction to the skills you need to master the kitchen! The book is designed to teach you the skills and techniques you need to understand how recipes work, and why.
Quitting Caffeine and Other Stories
Elgin Bolling (Author)
Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling, Visual Anthropologist, Creative Caricature Consultant, and Doctor of Sketchologhy opens up his diary and shares his most stories in this comic autobiography.
The month of March also brings us National Craft Month and Music in Our Schools.
The Amazing Crafty Cat
Charise Mericle Harper (Author)
First Second, 2017
Birdie is ready. She's not afraid of sticky paws or paper cuts. She's not afraid of anything, even Anya, the class bully. It's time to get crafting! Includes fun and simple instructions for do-it-yourself crafting activities.
Babymouse: Rock Star
Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm (Authors)
Random House, 2006
Move over Mozart! Babymouse has music in her soul ... but sadly, not in her flute. Will Babymouse ever hit the right note? Will she be the star of the school concert, or is her musical career all washed up before it's even started?
Joss Whedon (Author) and Fabio Moon (Artist)
Dark Horse Comics, 2015
Led by the Viking-hating Dandelion Naizen, Sugarshock! tore its way through a universal battle of the bands. Concertgoers saw Sugarshock! shred the guitar and the space-baddies alike.
Josie and the Pussycats
Archie Comics, various dates
Josie, Melody and Valerie have played together since 1963, touring the country while coping with trials and travails of eternal adolescence.
National Social Work Month recognizes the dedication and empathy social workers across the country deliver while providing services to children and adults in need. Social workers are advocates, advisors, counselors, and facilitators in schools, clinics, businesses, and government offices.
Marvel Comics, various dates
Superhero Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, is a social worker, motivated by a desire to better the lives of inner-city youth.
When Stars Are Scattered
Victoria Jamieson (Author and Illustrator), Omar Mohamed, (Author and Social Worker) and Iman Geddy (Illustrator)
Dial Books, 2020
Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp. When a social worker helps Omar with an opportunity to get an education, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal brother in this intimate and touching portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp.
Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World
Pénélope Bagieu (Author and Illustrator)
First Second, 2018
Includes a profile of Leymah Gbowee, social worker.
Batman: The Ultimate Evil: An Adaptation of the Novel by Andrew Vachss
Neal Barrett, Jr., Denys Cowan, Prentis Rollins and Andrew H Vachss (Authors)
DC Comics, 1995
After a social worker alerts him to a racket in child abuse, Batman goes to war. He flies to Udon Khai in Southeast Asia and stirs up a revolution to destroy an international ring enslaving children for sex.
Month is the annual month to celebrate Umbrellas.
The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told
Bob Kane (Author)
DC Comics, 1989
Includes the story, 1001 Umbrellas of the Penguin.
Hakumei & Mikochi: Tiny Little Life in the Woods
Takuto Kashiki (Author)
Yen Press, 2013
Deep within a lush, green forest live Hakumei and Mikochi. Making their home in trees, using leaves for umbrellas, and riding bugs for transportation is just part of everyday life for these tiny pals!
Whatever you do this week and wherever you are, read a graphic novel!