cover image Twister


Roland Burkart, trans. from the German by Natascha Hoffmeyer. Graphic Mundi, $17.50 trade paper (120p) ISBN 978-0-271-08808-2

Burkart’s candid, compressed graphic narrative reveals the quotidian experiences of quadriplegic life, filling in all aspects of living with the aftermath of a sudden spinal injury. Swiss sales rep Piedro awakens from a diving accident to find himself a quadriplegic, and Burkhart visualizes his internal struggles and triumphs as he emerges from an induced coma, learns his diagnosis, and eventually how to adjust to his new reality. At first his brain is fogged by pain medication, leading to vivid hallucinations, and he’s convinced he’ll walk again. Gradually, through rehab and with the support of family, friends, and nursing aides, he begins to understand his capacities and find independence, return to work, and connect with a partner. “I had no choice but to be patient,” Piedro says. Bukart draws from his own experiences, as an artist who continued to paint after becoming paralyzed. His brushy drawings carry sharp details, and his inky washes and swirls convey the intense emotions underlying the concise narration. This plainspoken dispatch will appeal to anyone who has confronted unexpected medical challenges, providing an uplifting example of how to build a different but fulfilling life. (Mar.)