What does a 22-year-old Jeopardy winner do with his winnings?
Of course, he writes a graphic novel about a 30-year-old woman dying of cancer and the effect she has on those around her.
Or at least that’s what Andrew Rostan did. While comics dealing with cancer have usually been true life tales — Mom’s Cancer or Our Cancer Year — AN ELEGY FOR AMELIA JOHNSON takes a more unusual tack, following the two best friends of a dying woman — a slightly egotistical documentary director and a self-absorbed journalist– as they journey to bring her last words to the people she cares about. But if you think this is going to be a weepy about a saintly sick person…you are wrong.
Drawn by recent SCAD grad Dave Valeza with Kate Kasenow, the emotional, direct story gets a boost from the clean, expressive art. You don’t need fancy characters to tell a story, just the right characters.
Publisher Archaia is very high on AMELIA JOHNSON for 2011, and it’s alreadygetting some good reviews like this one from Jill Pantozzi:
I won’t disguise the fact that An Elegy for Amelia Johnson is a very heartbreaking book. As a person living with a degenerative disease, it hit very close to home and I cried several times while reading it. Obviously it will make anyone consider their own mortality. It makes you reflect on what people would say about you if you were close to death. Would they say nice things? Bad things? Would they have anything to say at all? But it also manages to put a positive spin on the ending of one life by showing what that could mean for the future of everyone else.
Thanks to our friends at Archaia for providing this 14-page preview. AN ELEGY FOR AMELIA JOHNSON comes out in March.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.