Embroidered Cancer Comic
Created by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin
Published by Singing Dragon
Released 21st March 2016 – Price £7.99
“As soon as Bob was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer, he and his wife Elizabeth started making cancer jokes to take the edge off of an otherwise frightening situation.
“A lot of the jokes were about sex.”
Singing Dragon have steadily been producing some gorgeous comics that not only educate but often raise a smile within subjects of disability, illness and adversity. Embroidered Cancer Comic has a visually simple style that combines with some bitingly funny conversations that give an insight into this life changing illness.
Here, textile artist Elizabeth Shefrin has picked up a needle and thread to share those intimate jokes, revealing how they helped her and her husband to process the realities of cancer treatment. Giving lightness and humour to a rarely discussed topic, this unpretentious and wry embroidered comic will create awareness and discourse around a taboo topic, resonating with others in similar situations and reassuring us that it’s OK to laugh.
It is evident from this comic that people deal with problems in different ways. The jokes scattered throughout Embroidered Cancer Comic both made me chuckle and through this brought a strange sadness to the pages. As with all of Singing Dragon’s output this is education through comics but done with style and heart.
“A comic book about prostate cancer? Surely not. But in Elizabeth Shefrin’s hands it turns out to be a brilliant idea. There’s the story of a lived personal relationship here, told with tenderness and humour. And a clear-eyed look at prostate cancer’s effects and consequences. Original and bold.” – Leon Rosselson, songwriter and children’s author
Sometimes, the best way to deal with difficulty is often to have a sense of humour about it, and this comic has that in spades. Done in in a minimalistic sown style this is a quick but satisfying read. It is also quite dark – so reader beware.
The back matter has a couple of short essays by Elizabeth and her husband and focus of the book Bob Bossin that are also pretty hard hitting about the effect that prostate cancer can have on your sex life. I dare you not to hold back a tear when Elizabeth writes…
“On the night of Bob’s diagnosis we made a decision to get married, and one of our wedding vows was never lose our sense of humour. I offer this project in partial fulfilment of my wedding vows”- Elizabeth Shefrin.
• Sima is a textile artist and illustrator and her work has been shown throughout North America. You can visit her website at www.stitchingforsocialchange.ca
• If you have suffered or know someone who is suffering from prostate cancer, or simply want more information, head over to http://prostatecanceruk.org/
Many thanks for reading.