Serious medical trauma that leads to extended hospital stays can be daunting for an adult, let alone a child. But it happens and the effects on the family are tremendous. That is why a graphic novel such as A Slug Story is so important.

Written by mother and daughter team Mandi and Hana Kujawa, the autobiographical book from Renegade Arts Entertainment is drawn by Claude St. Aubin, colored by Lovern Kindzierski, and lettered by Taylor Esposito. Hana herself suffered a serious brain injury after contracting meningitis as a child and used her experience, including the long-term effects she still deals with, as the basis for the story.

The pair chatted briefly with The Beat via email about the comic.

Deanna Destito: Why is a book like this so important for people to read?

Mandi and Hana: We hope readers will find A Slug Story to be entertaining as well as being helpful for kids who have been given “too many lemons to make lemonade.”  It’s a book that would have helped us. We incorporated a bit of a guide on what to say and what is perhaps not helpful to say to someone in a medical crisis.

Destito: Can you tell us more about what inspired it?

Mandi and Hana: A Slug Story was inspired by our experiences with Hana’s difficult medical condition. Life is not fair – but humour, art, and friendship can sometimes make it better.

Destito: Is it accessible for both kids and parents who may find themselves in a similar situation?

Mandi and Hana: Yes, and any kid reading it might like the way the characters poke fun at what adults say sometimes without thinking.

Check out a preview of some interior pages below and head over to the publisher’s website to snag your copy.