English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Hindi Japanese Korean Persian Portuguese Russian Spanish

NER Graphic Medicine Initiative

Graphic Medicine Book Club Kits

If you are curious about medical comics, want to start a book club in your organization, or just want to learn more about the experience of a specific topic, our Graphic Medicine Book Club Kits can help. Each kit includes six copies of a graphic novel, a quick-guide to reading comics, discussion questions, and topic-relevant MedlinePlus information. Currently there are eleven topic areas available (see below) to organizations in the New England Region (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT).

Graphic Medicine Book Club Kits are not currently circulating.  Please email Sarah Levin-Lederer (Sarah.LevinLederer@umassmed.edu) with questions.


What is a Graphic Medicine Book Club Kit?

Kits are…

  • Available for any New England-based organization
  • Loaned for six-weeks at a time
  • Non-renewable
  • Free-of-charge – mailed to you by us, with a return shipping label included
  • Appropriate for both new and long-time comic readers
  • Great for students, faculty, professionals, and the public alike!
Request a Graphic Medicine Book Club Kit HERE!

Contact Sarah Levin-Lederer (Sarah.LevinLederer@umassmed.edu or 508-856-5910) if you have questions about the kits or suggestions for other Graphic Medicine kit titles or programs.

Available Topics

Topic: Addiction

  • Title: Sobriety: A Graphic Novel by Daniel Maurer (2014)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Through rich illustration and narrative, Sobriety: A Graphic Novel offers an inside look into recovery from the perspectives of five Twelve Step group members, each with a unique set of addictions, philosophies, struggles, and successes while working the Steps.”
  • Addiction Graphic Medicine Book Club Discussion Guide

Topic: Aging

  • Title: Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (2014)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Roz Chast and her parents were practitioners of denial: if you don’t ever think about death, it will never happen. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is the story of an only child watching her parents age well into their nineties and die. In this account, longtime New Yorker cartoonist Chast combines drawings with family photos and documents, chronicling that “long good-bye. 
  • Aging Graphic Medicine Book Club Discussion Guide

Topic: AIDS

  • Title: Pedro & Me: Friendship, Loss, & What I Learned by Judd Winick (2009)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Pedro Zamora changed lives. When the HIV-positive AIDS educator appeared on MTV’s The Real World: San Francisco, he taught millions of viewers about being gay and living with AIDS. Pedro’s roommate on the show was Judd Winick, a cartoonist from Long Island, and the two soon became close friends. Judd created Pedro and Me to honor Pedro Zamora, his friend and teacher, and most of all, an unforgettable human being.”
  • AIDS Graphic Medicine Book Club Discussion Guide

Topic: Cancer

  • Title: Mom’s Cancer by Brian Fies (2006)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Mom’s Cancer is a graphic novel about one family’s struggle with metastatic lung cancer. Honest, unflinching, and sometimes humorous, it is a look at the practical and emotional effect that serious illness can have on patients and their families. In the end, it is a story of hope – uniquely told in words and illustrations.”
  • Cancer Graphic Medicine Book Club Discussion Guide

Topic: Emergency Preparedness and Recovery

  • Title: Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown (2015)
  • Description: From the Publisher: "On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana…The riveting tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage—and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality. Don Brown’s kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history."
  • Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Graphic Medicine Book Club Discussion Guide

Topic: Epilepsy

  • Title: Epileptic by David B. (2005)
  • Description: "A painfully honest examination of the effects of debilitating epilepsy on one man and his family, told through a combination of straightforward text and expressionist imagery that ranges in its palette from centuries-old symbolism to the secret worlds of childhood. Even as he shows up the hollow promises of every school of esoteric and alternative medicine his family encounters in their quest for help, David B. works a real kind of deeply human magic on the page-- something forged from black ink and a soul's struggle--that marks Epileptic as one of the first truly great narrative artworks of the new millennium." --Jason Lutes
  • Epilepsy Graphic Medicine Book Club Discussion Guide

Topic: Grief

  • Title: Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart (2016)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Rosalie Lightning is Eisner-nominated cartoonist Tom Hart’s beautiful and touching graphic memoir about the untimely death of his young daughter, Rosalie. Hart uses the graphic form to articulate his and his wife’s ongoing search for meaning in the aftermath of Rosalie’s death, exploring themes of grief, hopelessness, rebirth, and eventually finding hope again.”
  • Grief Graphic Medicine Book Club Discussion Guide

Topic: LGBTQ

  • Title: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (2006)
  • Description: “At once a coming-out story, an examination of the complex relationship we can have with our parents and the role of art and literature in processing our lives… Smart, darkly funny and a little fearless, Fun Home reads like a true-life modern American Gothic.” – Time Best Comics of 2006
  • LGBTQ Graphic Medicine Book Club Discussion Guide

Topic: Mental Health

  • Title: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney (2012)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic but terrified that medications would cause her to lose her creativity and livelihood, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability without losing herself or her passion. With dazzling storytelling, bold illustrations, and razor-sharp wit, Marbles offers a wholly unique and visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist’s work and seeks to answer: IS mental illness a curse, or is it actually a gift?”
  • Mental Health Graphic Medicine Book Club Discussion Guide

Topic: OCD/Doctor-as-Patient

  • Title: The Bad Doctor by Ian Williams (2015)
  • Description: From the publisher… “Meet Dr. Iwan James: cyclist, doctor, would-be lover, former heavy metal fan, and, above all, human being. Weighed down by his responsibilities – from diagnosing personality disorders to deciding who can hold a gun license – he doubts his ability to make decisions about the lives of others when he may need more than a little help himself. Cartoonist and Doctor Ian Williams introduces us to Iwan’s troubled life as all humanity, it seems, passes through his surgery doors.”
  • OCD/Doctor-as-Patient Graphic Medicine Book Club Discussion Guide

Topic: Veteran’s Health

[This Kit is unique in that it contains two titles]

  • Title: At War With Yourself by Samuel Williams (2016)
  • Description: From the publisher… “In this illustrated conversation between Samuel C. Williams and his friend, Matt, they talk candidly about Matt’s struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. From scoping out quick exits in coffee shops to re-experiencing his traumatic events, Matt describes his unique experiences and how he has learnt to cope.”
  • Title: When I Returned from The Center for Cartoon Studies (2016)
  • Description: When I Returned is a comics anthology containing six unique stories from veterans at the White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont. Illustrated by a number of cartoonists from The Center for Cartoon Studies, these stories help show the depth and variety of the “veteran experience”.
  • Veteran's Health Graphic Medicine Book Club Discussion Guide