Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU

Jenny Jaeckel. Raincloud Press, $19.95 trade paper (113p) ISBN 978-1-941203-11-8
When Jaeckel’s daughter, Asa, is born, hospital staff immediately spirit her off to surgery for a malformed trachea. What follows is a long period of recovery and new health issues, as her condition grows more complicated and her parents struggle to accommodate her unique needs. “Shock is a quiet place,” Jaeckel observes in this graphic memoir, “a vault.” Jaeckel is adept at capturing the empty, helpless feeling that comes with knowing her child is suffering and not being able to do anything about it. As in her previous graphic novel, Siberiak, Jaeckel depicts herself and the doctors and friends that constitute her cast of characters as animal-human hybrids. While she gives considerable attention to her own thoughts during this trying time, she also focuses on the medical details surrounding her daughter’s extensive treatment, leading to a very text-heavy graphic novel. Most of the pages have a staid layout: a large caption over a simple illustration, a drab presentation that doesn’t do justice to the dramatic story. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/15/2016
Release date: 10/01/2016
Genre: Comics
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