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Graphic Reproduction: A Comics Anthology

Jenell Johnson Susan Merrill Squier

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Pennsylvania State University Press
15 May 2018
Graphic novels: true stories & non-fiction; Birth control, contraception, family planning; Human reproduction, growth & development; Gynaecology & obstetrics
This comics anthology delves deeply into the messy and often taboo subject of human reproduction. Featuring work by luminaries such as Carol Tyler, Alison Bechdel, and Joyce Farmer, Graphic Reproduction is an illustrated challenge to dominant cultural narratives about conception, pregnancy, and childbirth.

The comics here expose the contradictions, complexities, and confluences around diverse individual experiences of the entire reproductive process, from trying to conceive to child loss and childbirth. Jenell Johnson's introduction situates comics about reproduction within the growing field of graphic medicine and reveals how they provide a discursive forum in which concepts can be explored and presented as uncertainties rather than as part of a prescribed or expected narrative. Through comics such as Lyn Chevley's groundbreaking Abortion Eve, Bethany Doane's Pushing Back: A Home Birth Story, Leah Hayes's Not Funny Ha-Ha, and Losing Thomas & Ella: A Father's Story, by Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower, the collection explores a myriad of reproductive experiences and perspectives. The result is a provocative, multifaceted portrait of one of the most basic and complicated of all human experiences, one that can be hilarious and heartbreaking.

Featuring work by well-known comics artists as well as exciting new voices, this incisive collection is an important and timely resource for understanding how reproduction intersects with sociocultural issues. The afterword and a section of discussion exercises and questions make it a perfect teaching tool.
Afterword by:   Susan Merrill Squier
Edited by:   Jenell Johnson
Imprint:   Pennsylvania State University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Volume:   11
Dimensions:   Height: 254mm,  Width: 178mm,  Spine: 16mm
Weight:   499g
ISBN:   9780271080949
ISBN 10:   0271080949
Series:   Graphic Medicine
Pages:   232
Publication Date:   15 May 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  College/higher education ,  Undergraduate ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified
Contents Acknowledgments Introduction (Jenell Johnson) 1. Abortion Eve (Joyce Farmer and Lyn Chevli) 2. Excerpt from Not Funny Ha-Ha (Leah Hayes) 3. Excerpts from Spooky Womb and X Utero (Paula Knight) 4. Present / Perfect (Jenell Johnson) 5. A Significant Loss: The Story of My Miscarriage (Endrene Shepherd) 6. Losing Thomas and Ella: A Father's Story (Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower) 7. Excerpt from Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag (A. K. Summers) 8. Excerpt from Pushing Back: A Home Birth Story (Bethany Doane) 9. Overwhelmed, Anxious, and Angry: Navigating Postpartum Depression (Ryan Alexander-Tanner and Jessica Zucker) 10. Anatomy of a New Mom (Carol Tyler) 11. Excerpt from Spawn of Dykes to Watch Out For (Alison Bechdel) Afterword (Susan Merrill Squier) Classroom Exercises (KC Councilor and Jenell Johnson) List of Contributors

Jenell Johnson is Mellon-Morgridge Professor of the Humanities and Associate Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History.

Reviews for Graphic Reproduction: A Comics Anthology

Essential for anyone concerned with reproductive health care, this collection will also supply much-needed perspective to parents and would-be parents. --Martha Cornog, Library Journal Graphic Reproduction's compelling and often heartrending comics cover aspects of reproduction--including infertility, abortion and miscarriage, labor, and postpartum depression--that are often excluded from popular discourse. Jenell Johnson's careful, lyrical, and thorough introduction offers a resource for instructors beyond the excellent discussion questions that conclude the manuscript. Comics are well suited to depicting pregnancy for many reasons, but most enticing is the fact that, as Johnson notes, they allow us to imagine and visualize more hopeful reproductive futures. --Chloe Silverman, author of Understanding Autism: Parents, Doctors, and the History of a Disorder Using textual and visual means, Graphic Reproduction not only documents reproduction in new ways but also forwards new conceptualizations of the range of activities, behaviors, and experiences within the idea of 'reproduction.' This is a rich contribution to the areas of the humanities, health and medicine, and reproduction. --Erin Heidt-Forsythe, Penn State University This collection of comic narratives gives voice to non-normative, marginalized, and, in some cases, stigmatized stories in the arena of human reproduction. By sharing these rich stories, assumptions are challenged, biases are exposed, and stigma is lifted. These are stories of resistance to silence, norms, and expectations. These are stories that return voice, and the collection is an important contribution to Graphic Medicine. --MK Czerwiec, author of Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371


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