Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Terminally Illin’ – “Chaos in Humanhattan”


Today I got a real treat, my own personal copy of Chaos in Humanhattan - the scary, cynical, irreverent, twenty-something, mash-up of a memoir, a ”chemo-induced ‘Alice in Wonderland’ story and a “campy ‘Hollywood’ action adventure” graphic novel that focuses on the Kaylin Andres and her Ewing Sarcoma cancer battles. http://www.cancercomicbook.com/

While the story is fantastical, so is the fact that Kaylin is still alive. I believe she’s still living because she found humor – black humor, gallows humor, sardonic humor – an vehicle for empowering her fight with a dark, hideously unrelenting cancer that whacked her at twenty-three and kept trying to drag her into the grave.

“Chaos in Humanhattan” is written and drawn for millennials. If you aren’t a millennial in your age or in your soul, you might find it flippant or upsetting. To my way of thinking, Kaylin addressed that when she wrote her book and blog’s subtitle – “Cancer is not Funny … Cancer is Hilarious.”  If that line doesn’t resonate with you, don’t read this book.

But it you are a millennial, in age or attitude, you should read this book. The story, by Kalin and Jon Solo, is in turns bleak, poignant, darkly comedic and upsetting – like many cancer survivor stories. 

The graphics by Jon Solo and Jade Takushi are terrific - powerful, complex, and vivid. They are just as good as any Manga I’ve ever read.

What I really like about Chaos in Humanhattan is that Kalin and Jon capture all the horrible emotions that cancer victims go through, from “Why me?” to “Oh no!” to “I’m done” to “Now, I’m really pissed” and everything in between.


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