jesse_the_k: Extreme closeup of dark red blood cells (Blood makes noise)
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STITCHES
by David Small
W.W.Norton, 2009


This 300-page graphic novel is a shatteringly creepy memoir. David Small's physician father, following the medical wisdom of the time, irradiated him many times for "sinus trouble." A colleague noticed a growth on his neck at age 11, but the family dynamic was so nonfunctional that no doctor checked this out until age 14, he "awoke upon an operating table and found that his neck had been slashed open and stitched back together like a bloody boot."

The tumor, his thyroid and one vocal fold were removed. The family didn't tell him that he'd been treated for cancer. That silence is mirrored in his own inability to speak above a whisper until the vocal fold regrew some 15 years later. As he demonstrates, that silence encouraged him to develop his graphic skills. A parallel story is the rapid defoliation of his home town as the Dutch Elm disease works its way through Detroit, and the police and community riots ravage the inner city.

Yeah, my mind boggled too. This beautifully drawn book really does evoke Hitchcock and Orson Welles in story and presentation. So the author's swaggering in this (uncaptioned) YouTube video isn't hyperbolic.
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