cover image My Degeneration: A Journey Through Parkinson's

My Degeneration: A Journey Through Parkinson's

Peter Dunlap-Shohl. Penn State University, $29.95 (106p) ISBN 978-0-271-07102-2

Editorial cartoonist Dunlap-Shohl (formerly of Anchorage Daily News) takes a frank look at his battle to live with the specter of Parkinson's disease in this emotionally resonant memoir that's part of Penn State's ongoing series of medicine-themed graphic novels. The narrative covers the fear and determination that make up Dunlap-Shohl's daily life, from the terror of being suddenly unable to walk to the triumph of still being able to dress himself. Dunlap-Shohl advocates constant vigilance, discussing how a combination of fitness, drugs, and eventual surgery have enabled him to keep going. The art is like an extended editorial cartoon, with oversized heads, comedic exaggeration, and the ability to condense complex themes into individual images. Dunlap-Shohl also discusses using technology to replicate his old drawing style, and it's clear that the sometimes wobbly lines are intentional, not a result of illness. (Oct.)