Reading List: Comics on a Mission

reading list

July 2, 2019

Cigarettes: A Filterless Report

Arguably humanity’s most deadly invention—responsible for 100 million deaths in the 20th century—the cigarette continues to kill. Half of all smokers die of a smoking-related illness, and more than a billion people currently smoke. “Cigarettes” tells the story of the tobacco industry’s cynical efforts to impose this danger on as many people—or victims—as possible, with a single purpose in mind: shareholder profits. Always frank in delivering its meticulously-documented message, “Cigarettes” should make the tobacco industry tremble more than a nicotine-deprived smoker.

Clara

There are some things that a child should never have to endure, but life can be cruel sometimes. Clara is only seven years old when she loses her mother to cancer. Before she passes away, Clara’s mother gives her a doll from the days of her own childhood. Clara doesn’t particularly like the doll at first, but it’ll prove to be a precious ally, accompanying little Clara along the rough road of grief and mourning, through all its stages.

John

Almost everyone makes it to fifty these days. And so did John. When his daughters give him a ticket to Rome, he decides it’s time to conquer his fear of flying once and for all. But on the plane home he loses consciousness, and in the hospital he gets devastating news: he has colon cancer. What follows is a roller coaster of emotions, with ups and downs and newfound love… helping John realize just how much life is worth fighting for.

Sour Apple

By all appearances they are a happy couple. Married, religious, hardworking. What happens behind closed doors, however, is a secret, even to those closest to them. “Kwaśne jabłko” (Sour Apple), written by Jerzy Szyłak and illustrated by Joanna Karpowicz, tells a story of domestic abuse, a story of a victim and persecutor. This story of violence spiraling out of control brings no hope, instead playing on emotions and powerful illustrations, painted with acrylic on canvas-textured paper, to create a unique atmosphere of horror. It is violence as seen by a painter. In truth, no one would like to hear this kind of story, and yet such stories are told, and need to be told. They need to be told because they happen to real people, be they old or young, educated or uneducated, pious or atheist. None of these people wants to take a bite from the sour apple in the basket. However, it happens to some. That is why such stories must be told.

Gaia Blues

Gaia is the ancient name of our Earth, a place now endangered by growing human pollution. A family of polar bears is about to discover what are the effects of this situation, in a story told entirely with no words.

Header image: Gaia Blues © Gud / Tunue