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Mom’s Cancer

I don’t know if any of you guys could see copies of this comics strip (in graphic novel form) but just in case you do, I’d strongly recommend you pick it up. Immediately.


Mom’s Cancer by Brian Fies is one of the few non-superhero titles in my little stack of comics and trade paperbacks but I’d say anytime that its really worth every buck.

Brian started doing these strips way back the time when his mom was diagnosed with lung cancer - caused by years of smoking - and so its main purpose is to  accurately document how their family decided to cope up with this struggle. It really feels like reading someone else’s personal journal and lets you see the strengths and shortcomings of every family member in various situations.

For me, that is the strongest asset of the book- it’s unreserved honesty. Heck, I’d prefer reading this anytime than watching any of those “reality TV” shows if I wanted to take a peek at real life.


A family portrait (Brian, Nurse Sis, Mom and Kid Sis)

Throughout the book, medical jargon were thrown left and right but surprisingly, I didn’t get bored nor irritated with it - although I’m sure I’d feel that way if I was reading a medical book or something.

Also, I just have to admit that I was close to tears when I read the “5 percent” scene (pages 91 to 95). Sure, the artwork wasn’t particularly impressive at page 94 but the emotions were just there you’d have to be a stone not to feel it.

The story definitely revolves more on serious real-life situations but Brian  also effectively uses some creative license and successfully incorporates metaphors so he could describe several situations better such as the arguments between the siblings portrayed in a superhero fight (pages 41 to 44), the risks of cancer compared to the circus act of wire walking (pages 59 to 61) and many others.

In three words, I’d describe Mom’s Cancer as entertaining, emotional and  educational all at the same time. Cancer patients and family members can benefit from reading it and even doctors could be given a unique perspective that would help them understand their patients better (pages 39 and 40).

And oh! If it would matter, this book has won an Eisner Award way back 2005. Anyway, here’s 2 pages just in case you want some previews.


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12 Responses to “Mom’s Cancer”

  1. hungrynez says:

    Wow, that’s unique. I never thought they make comics like that.

  2. Mark Rosario says:

    @ hungrynez, yes it is. Actually, I was also a bit surprised with the serious theme of the book. Looking at the illustrations, you’d guess its one of those funny books.

  3. hazel says:

    Wow… very unique… really liked this one. Should get this

  4. Mark Rosario says:

    Yeah. Hope its available in your area. Its really good and Brian Fies is a genius.

  5. journaliz says:

    this is i think the most sense-filled comics I ever heard of — not to mention it being true-to-life….

  6. Mark Rosario says:

    @ Journaliz, yeah. Its really more autobiographical than comical. If there’s one book that almost brought me to tears, this is definitely it :)

  7. Ryan Y says:

    Hi, where can i find a copy of Mom’s Cancer? Meron kaya sa Comic Odyssey or National?

    Great site btw! :)

  8. Mark Rosario says:

    @ Ryan Y, try mo lang. I got it at BookSale eh. Na-timing-an ko lang kumbaga. Thanks, bro.

  9. Mela says:

    Interesting. :) Sana merong e-book version. I’ll try to find one.

  10. Mark Rosario says:

    @ Mela, tell me if you find one. I got this one from BookSale so its for a lesser price. Heheh.. Actually, whats great is that I got in touch with the author and he sent me an autographed sticker thru snail mail, thanking me for this short review. A really nice guy! :D

  11. Owen M. says:

    Starting a site similar to yours forced me to start some research and I found your post to be very useful. My site is centered around the idea curing cancer by halting the angiogenic process. I wish you good luck with your writing in the future and you can be sure I’ll be following it.

  12. Mark Rosario says:

    @ Owen, goodluck to your blog. I highly recommend you try reading Mom’s Cancer. It’s absolutely a good book!

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