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Preview: Colin Upton's DIABETES FUNNIES

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Vancouver-based Colin Upton is something of a Canadian comics legend. He’s been producing rough-hewn, Rabelaisian mini comics since the 80s that deal in equal parts with autobiography and history.

A few years ago he was diagnosed with diabetes, which prompted a massive lifestyle change, resulting in so much weight loss that when I saw a picture of the new Colin, I didn’t even recognize him.

Before

After

He recently been drawing a mini-comics series called DIABETES FUNNIES, which sounds pretty heavy, but fits in well with the whole school of health based comics memoirs. He’s selling a collection on Lulu, but looking for a more serious publisher. Here’s an excerpt — be forewarned, Upton is from the old school mini-comics tradition of unslick naturalism, not the current beautiful line movement.


  1. In a way, these comics read like therapy. The repetitious comments indicate an interest in reinforcing the goal of better options for a longer life.

    So, good for him. It’s unfortunate that his more negative personal perspectives are a huge challenge for himself. Self-improvement is a good thing, of course.

    His work reminds me of Harvey Pekar, in a way. In another way, he is the opposite of Harvey, isn’t he?

  2. Funny how Canadians imagine that Americans who can’t afford to pay for medical care themselves simply don’t get care. Total myth. Every state has some program or another for those who can’t pay for themselves.

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