Signs of life: Framing terminal illness, death, and grief through comics
When it comes to terminal illness and its aftermaths, the "thing" that comics narrative makes manifest, known, familiar, is paradoxically absence, loss, death. A year ago, I began developing a comics project in order to work through my experiences of caregiving for my mother, who died in 2007 from colon cancer. In sharing my work on this project in progress, as well as exploring images in other illness comics that deal specifically with terminal illness, death, and grief, I hope to provide a creative and personal lens through which to understand the transformative value of comics under loss of life.
Mita Mahato is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Puget Sound where she teaches courses in contemporary Visual and Cultural Studies. Her scholarship explores the reception of illness stories across several narrative forms, including comics and blogs. She also makes comics and likes cutting things up.