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Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology

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In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees. When we weren't sheltering in place, we were advised to wear masks, wash our hands, and practice social distancing. We watched in horror as medical personnel worked around the clock to care for the sick and dying. Businesses were shuttered, travel stopped, workers were furloughed, and markets dropped. And peopl In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees. When we weren't sheltering in place, we were advised to wear masks, wash our hands, and practice social distancing. We watched in horror as medical personnel worked around the clock to care for the sick and dying. Businesses were shuttered, travel stopped, workers were furloughed, and markets dropped. And people continued to die. Amid all this uncertainty, writers and artists from around the world continued to create comics, commenting directly on how individuals, societies, governments, and markets reacted to the worldwide crisis. COVID Chronicles: A Comics Anthology collects more than sixty such short comics from a diverse set of creators, including indie powerhouses, mainstream artists, Ignatz and Eisner Award winners, and media cartoonists. In narrative styles ranging from realistic to fantastic, they tell stories about adjusting to working from home, homeschooling their kids, missing birthdays and weddings, and being afraid just to leave the house. They probe the failures of government leaders and the social safety net. They dig into the racial bias and systemic inequities that this pandemic helped bring to light. We see what it's like to get the virus and live to tell about it, or to stand by helplessly as a loved one passes. At times heartbreaking and at others hopeful and humorous, these comics express the anger, anxiety, fear, and bewilderment we feel in the era of COVID-19. Above all, they highlight the power of art and community to help us make sense of a world in crisis, reminding us that we are truly all in this together. The comics in this collection have been generously donated by their creators. A portion of the the proceeds from the sale of this volume are being donated by the publisher to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) in support of comics shops, bookstores, and their employees who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.


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In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees. When we weren't sheltering in place, we were advised to wear masks, wash our hands, and practice social distancing. We watched in horror as medical personnel worked around the clock to care for the sick and dying. Businesses were shuttered, travel stopped, workers were furloughed, and markets dropped. And peopl In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees. When we weren't sheltering in place, we were advised to wear masks, wash our hands, and practice social distancing. We watched in horror as medical personnel worked around the clock to care for the sick and dying. Businesses were shuttered, travel stopped, workers were furloughed, and markets dropped. And people continued to die. Amid all this uncertainty, writers and artists from around the world continued to create comics, commenting directly on how individuals, societies, governments, and markets reacted to the worldwide crisis. COVID Chronicles: A Comics Anthology collects more than sixty such short comics from a diverse set of creators, including indie powerhouses, mainstream artists, Ignatz and Eisner Award winners, and media cartoonists. In narrative styles ranging from realistic to fantastic, they tell stories about adjusting to working from home, homeschooling their kids, missing birthdays and weddings, and being afraid just to leave the house. They probe the failures of government leaders and the social safety net. They dig into the racial bias and systemic inequities that this pandemic helped bring to light. We see what it's like to get the virus and live to tell about it, or to stand by helplessly as a loved one passes. At times heartbreaking and at others hopeful and humorous, these comics express the anger, anxiety, fear, and bewilderment we feel in the era of COVID-19. Above all, they highlight the power of art and community to help us make sense of a world in crisis, reminding us that we are truly all in this together. The comics in this collection have been generously donated by their creators. A portion of the the proceeds from the sale of this volume are being donated by the publisher to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) in support of comics shops, bookstores, and their employees who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

30 review for Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Some of these stories were brilliant. Some of them made my heart heart. Some made me angry beyond belief. Some of them filled me with hope. With over 70 creators involved, there's a story for everyone. With everyone hunkering down at home for months, these stories provided a great outlet for the creators involved which I enjoyed very much. Received a review copy from Graphic Mundi and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned. Some of these stories were brilliant. Some of them made my heart heart. Some made me angry beyond belief. Some of them filled me with hope. With over 70 creators involved, there's a story for everyone. With everyone hunkering down at home for months, these stories provided a great outlet for the creators involved which I enjoyed very much. Received a review copy from Graphic Mundi and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    Although it's impressive that this compilation was published while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, it isn't as powerful or visually appealing as it could be. COVID Chronicles is a jumble of what I'd call “snapshot stories” united in the COVID-19 theme, but beyond that, parameters for story submissions were flexible. The book is entirely sequential art, and the snapshots are fiction and nonfiction. As is to be expected, the art varies wildly in style, and topics run the gamut. Frontline work, t Although it's impressive that this compilation was published while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, it isn't as powerful or visually appealing as it could be. COVID Chronicles is a jumble of what I'd call “snapshot stories” united in the COVID-19 theme, but beyond that, parameters for story submissions were flexible. The book is entirely sequential art, and the snapshots are fiction and nonfiction. As is to be expected, the art varies wildly in style, and topics run the gamut. Frontline work, tele-schooling challenges, death of loved ones, and politics are just a sampling of what's addressed. My feelings also ran the gamut. For some stories, I was awe-struck by the clean, realistic-looking artwork; how the topic was presented; or both. For others, I was so turned off by the ugly artwork and text-heavy word balloons that I couldn't wait for the story to be over. Additionally, too many of the contributions feel incomplete, with weak messages and sometimes weird or discombobulated story lines. Because 2020 was a watershed year in the Black Lives Matter movement, several of the stories incorporate this theme, and the story that stirred the strongest feelings in me, “Between Two Worlds,” does this in a natural way: It addresses the difference in COVID-19 rules enforcement for white people and people of color. It's in sobering stories like these, where pain and shock, privilege and smug flippancy can be shown, that sequential art realizes its full potential. With “Between Two Worlds,” COVID Chronicles achieves what it set out to do: put a human face on this pandemic. It's therefore especially disappointing that so many other stories lack oomph. Despite its missteps, I’m glad COVID Chronicles exists, because an event so totally life-altering cries out for some kind of written record. I imagine, however, that there will be many, many more of these--in all kinds of genres--and they won’t have to work very hard to surpass this one. COVID Chronicles sits squarely in the middle, with three stars, and that may be generous.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    I know some people try to put the COVID-19 pandemic in a closed little compartment in their brain as much as possible, but for anyone who wants to read more about how others are getting through these trying times, this collection of short fiction and nonfiction comics is a pretty good place to start. With over 70 contributors, there is quite a wide range of diversity in people and experiences. Among other things, there are comic diaries, a firsthand account of a COVID-19 survivors, a history of I know some people try to put the COVID-19 pandemic in a closed little compartment in their brain as much as possible, but for anyone who wants to read more about how others are getting through these trying times, this collection of short fiction and nonfiction comics is a pretty good place to start. With over 70 contributors, there is quite a wide range of diversity in people and experiences. Among other things, there are comic diaries, a firsthand account of a COVID-19 survivors, a history of pandemics, and a review of world leaders' handling of the crisis. The pieces about powwow dancing and a funeral director really stood out for me, but there are plenty of good ones to choose from and hardly any clunkers at all, which is quite a feat when you are filling over 250 pages. Graphic Mundi is a new imprint that is going to be publishing the type of books that have previously been published in the Graphic Medicine series. If you've enjoyed those books in the past, you'll want to watch for this imprint in the future. One caveat: I get a little paranoid when I see that the creators have donated their work to the anthology and the publisher is donating "a portion of the proceeds" -- an unspecified "portion" -- to a charity. I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the people involved here, but it always gets my hackles up regardless.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Really glad to be a contributor to this first book from Graphic Mundi, the really cool new graphic novel imprint of Penn University Press. There's some terrific work in here and the editor did a great job of sequencing all the disparate POVs into a well-crafted, cohesive whole. I especially liked the stories by Jason Chatfield, Emily Steinberg (Steinburg's naive style drawings particularly appeal to me), Seth Tobacman, Sean Seamus McWhinny, Joe Decie, Lee Marrs, Stephanie Nina Pitsirilos, Sara F Really glad to be a contributor to this first book from Graphic Mundi, the really cool new graphic novel imprint of Penn University Press. There's some terrific work in here and the editor did a great job of sequencing all the disparate POVs into a well-crafted, cohesive whole. I especially liked the stories by Jason Chatfield, Emily Steinberg (Steinburg's naive style drawings particularly appeal to me), Seth Tobacman, Sean Seamus McWhinny, Joe Decie, Lee Marrs, Stephanie Nina Pitsirilos, Sara Firth, Julio Anta w/ Jacoby Salcedo, Maureen Burdock w/ Joanna Regulska, Kay Sonini, Hatiye Garip, and Jay Stephens. The stories range from humorous to thoughtful to enraged. It's best read in several sittings as it brings up a lot of shit (as I write this there is still a looong way to go before we get things back under some semblance of control)—for me one of the best sustained passages is the run of pointedly political comics from pages 190 to 231. Also of note: a portion of the sales of this book go towards the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, which helps bookstores, comic shops, and their employees affected by the pandemic, so doubly glad I contributed (and also bought copies for friends).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zedsdead

    A collection of 65 one-to-twelve page short comics about the pandemic. There are mini-diaries, humorous anecdotes, critiques of public policy and different national strategies, and informative articles about Japanese yokai, Native American powwow history, and Anthony Fauci himself. As with any anthology, it's a mixed bag: some stories are excellent, others are confusing, dull, or unfocused. I didn't like the whole as much as I wanted to. The best of the bunch was The Dance of Death , by Peter A collection of 65 one-to-twelve page short comics about the pandemic. There are mini-diaries, humorous anecdotes, critiques of public policy and different national strategies, and informative articles about Japanese yokai, Native American powwow history, and Anthony Fauci himself. As with any anthology, it's a mixed bag: some stories are excellent, others are confusing, dull, or unfocused. I didn't like the whole as much as I wanted to. The best of the bunch was The Dance of Death , by Peter Dunlap-Shohl. It's almost entirely graphic, depicting Death in a variety of mundane scenes: standing in line at Starbucks, getting patted down at the airport, waving a sign at an anti-mask protest, etc. Elegant. Covid-19 Diary by Jason Chatfield is another strong entry. The author describes his own bout of covid in a short, tragically entertaining 12-day journal.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Keen

    “Like ticks those inflated with corruption depend on the sweat and blood of others.” In many ways Covid is like global warming. Opinion, self-interest and lies routinely outshout scientific fact and environmental issues take second place to economic ones. Like climate change it began as a distant and abstract concept which started as a threat away off in the distance, and something which could only harm “other people” from “other countries” and as we allowed ourselves to sit back and listen to al “Like ticks those inflated with corruption depend on the sweat and blood of others.” In many ways Covid is like global warming. Opinion, self-interest and lies routinely outshout scientific fact and environmental issues take second place to economic ones. Like climate change it began as a distant and abstract concept which started as a threat away off in the distance, and something which could only harm “other people” from “other countries” and as we allowed ourselves to sit back and listen to all of those cheating, lying leaders about what was happening, by the time the reality of it hit us, it was already too late and people were dying. We had allowed our arrogant and complacent leaders to get away with criminal negligence. It is only when our systems are truly tested can we learn how strong they really are, and as the vast majority of the world has found out…it turns out in far too many cases that those systems had been highly ineffective and the people in charge of them deeply incompetent. Just like the global financial crisis, we found out just how dangerous and dishonest most of the leaders of the world were, and how cowardly they were when it came to doing the right thing. Instead of punishing the guilty, the victims (the most poor and vulnerable) were punished further to protect and reward the guilty. “This pandemic has exposed and amplified everything that is wrong with our world- obscene wealth disparity, ableism, racism, sexism, bigotry.” Whether it’s the US Republicans, the British Conservatives or the maniacs in charge of Brazil, Italy, India and many other places, we now know just how incompetent they really are, their approach was so ignorant and reckless that many of these leaders caught the virus too. As for the book itself, this is a varied collection, made up mostly of American accounts, with the occasional one thrown in from Australia or a German speaking country. There are some interesting ideas and memorable approaches, as well as other ones which don’t work so well. The good thing is that when you come across a stinker, they are so short that another one is never too far away.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I was hesitant to read this but I found it interesting and entertaining. I liked how the artists gave points of view from being a grocery worker to being a front line doctor who actually got COVID. These stories are our norm as of right now. Can't wait to see how kids will react to reading this decades from now. I was hesitant to read this but I found it interesting and entertaining. I liked how the artists gave points of view from being a grocery worker to being a front line doctor who actually got COVID. These stories are our norm as of right now. Can't wait to see how kids will react to reading this decades from now.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This review can also be found on my blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2021/07/0... This second Covid Chronicles short story collection (that came out a few months after the similarly titled Covid Chronicles that was penned by Ethan Sacks and illustrated by Dalibor Talajić ) is an anthology that incorporates many different authors and illustrators. It gives these creators chances to recount their experiences or share commentary about the pandemic to varying degrees of success. My favorites: COVID-19 This review can also be found on my blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2021/07/0... This second Covid Chronicles short story collection (that came out a few months after the similarly titled Covid Chronicles that was penned by Ethan Sacks and illustrated by Dalibor Talajić ) is an anthology that incorporates many different authors and illustrators. It gives these creators chances to recount their experiences or share commentary about the pandemic to varying degrees of success. My favorites: COVID-19 Diary by Jason Charfield This first story in the collection kicks off with a cartoony day-by-day diary of the author’s experience when he had COVID-19. Librarying During a Pandemic by Gene Ambaum & Willow Payne As a librarian, I was of course interested in how other librarian’s dealt with patrons once they reopened. While I didn’t run into the scenarios illustrated, it was an amusing story. And This Is How I Leave You by Sean Seamus McWhinny A poignant recounting of the author’s last days with his mother as she lay dying in a hospital and he was unable to be with her. Small Acts by Stephanie Pitsirilos & Seth Martel We can’t save the world, but our small acts of kindness can help. Lovely use of color in one of the best-illustrated stories. My New Normal: Rinse and Repeat by Rob Kraneveldt & Mike Garcia A woman goes about her new normal routine and all her issues are swept under the rug in a fake blog entry in which she pretends everything went well that day. Between Two Worlds by Julio Anta, Jacoby Salcedo & Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou Excellent side-by-side comparison of how white people and POC have to deal with authority figures when they start venturing outside during the pandemic. The POC are harassed while whites flaunt the rules with no recourse. Covid Hardball: World Leaders Step Up To The Plate by Rich Johnson & Eli Neugeboren Illustrated to look like trading baseball cards, leaders have the facts about their response to the pandemic shared. Trump is vilified (in this story, in addition to a few others throughout the book). Dr. Fauci gets the MVP card. Same by Jazmine Joyner & John Jennings (the only artist I was familiar with) A woman locked down in a city apartment begins to experience paranoia and visions. But her cat shows her an alternate way out… Author/illustrator Rivi Handler-Spitz was given several one-page spreads throughout the entire book, and they were always spot on. Frankly, I was not a fan of this very uneven collection of 63 stories. I’ve read many other anthologies such as Love is Love, Puerto Rico Strong and Where We Live (the best of the bunch), but this book just didn’t pass muster. Many of the stories lacked depth, were trite or were not illustrated well. I hardly recognized any of the contributors, so while I so appreciate their effort and intentions, readers who want a timely and poignant retelling of the horrible pandemic we all have been suffering under should read the Sacks/ Talajić graphic novel instead. (Actual review 2.5/5)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology is an anthology of over sixty comics pertaining to the Covid-19 epidemic edited and collected by Kendra Boileau and Rich Johnson. It is an anthology of over sixty comics as extraordinary circumstances inspire a range of extraordinary artistic response, as this pandemic rages onward. For the most part, this collection of comics was written and constructed rather well. A wide variety of creators explore the Covid-19 pandemic in this impassioned and impressive an Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology is an anthology of over sixty comics pertaining to the Covid-19 epidemic edited and collected by Kendra Boileau and Rich Johnson. It is an anthology of over sixty comics as extraordinary circumstances inspire a range of extraordinary artistic response, as this pandemic rages onward. For the most part, this collection of comics was written and constructed rather well. A wide variety of creators explore the Covid-19 pandemic in this impassioned and impressive anthology, with stories seen through the eyes of frustrated children, exhausted doctors, bereaved sons, and myriad others. Diversity, both of topic and in form, is the volume’s greatest strength: monochrome meditations upon presidential malfeasance sit comfortably alongside pastel satires of virtual schooling. Like most anthologies there are weaker contributions and Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology is not an exception. Weaker comics bury static drawings in paragraphs of tiny text, which do little more than recite dry facts. Still, the anthology's high points eclipse these missteps. Carried by the stronger pieces, the anthology captures the anxiety, courage, and surrealism of the current standing of the epidemic. All in all, Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology is an interesting collection of comics in a diverse, impassioned book, these quick responders illustrate the impact of the pandemic with work of lasting value.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wendelle

    an omnibus of comics recollecting the experience and impact of the Covid pandemic, through multiple facets such as financial insecurity, job loss, worsening inequality, synchronic Australian bushfires, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

  11. 4 out of 5

    mad mags

    (Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for illness, death, and crimes against humanity.) I must have been in an especially masochistic mood when I requested this title on Edelweiss: after all, we're still in the midst of a pandemic and, while an end is in sight (thanks to Pfizer, Moderna, and the Black women and POC organizers who delivered a win to Biden!), we're still looking at another six months+ of isolation, not to mention the ripple effects (Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for illness, death, and crimes against humanity.) I must have been in an especially masochistic mood when I requested this title on Edelweiss: after all, we're still in the midst of a pandemic and, while an end is in sight (thanks to Pfizer, Moderna, and the Black women and POC organizers who delivered a win to Biden!), we're still looking at another six months+ of isolation, not to mention the ripple effects of systemic racism, unemployment, mass evictions and homelessness, scarcity of health care and the increasing number of uninsured, and the ever-widening wealth gap. As I write this, Dems in the House are holding a vote on a standalone bill to give qualifying Americans one-time stimulus checks of $2000 (eight months having passed since the first round of $1200 checks), and reports that the TSA screened 2.3 million passengers over the Christmas weekend is a harbinger of the misery still yet to come. So yeah, reading an anthology of comics about a pandemic while you're still living through it? Maybe not my wisest mental health choice. For this reason, COVID CHRONICLES is a hard one to rate. Like many anthologies, it's a bit of a mixed bag: some of the artwork, stories, and ideas resonated with me more than others. Its greatest strength is its breadth and diversity of perspectives, including its focus not just on the micro but also the macro. While the collection includes plenty of personal stories - memoirs, narratives based on true stories, and fictional accounts - some of the authors pull their lenses back, for example, comparing different countries' pandemic responses, or placing the COVID-19 pandemic in a historic context. (S.I. Rosenbaum and Arigon Starr's poingant piece on "How to Have a Powwow in a Pandemic" comes to mind.") Nearly all of the stories are nonfiction(ish), which is why the lone SF tale really jumped out at me ("Same," written by Jazmine Joyner). It also tickles me that I can spot John Jennings's artwork from the first panel! I tend to base around 50% of a book's rating on how it made me feel. On the one hand, COVID CHRONICLES gave me a sense of belonging and connectedness; it made me feel a little less alone. (As a single person who's been riding this thing out solo, with only a flagging senior dog and an a-hole cat for company, it's been rough.) But it's also depressing AF and triggered more than one breakdown. While COVID CHRONICLES is certainly an important historical artifact, it comes with a pretty big content warning, especially if you're struggling as it is.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jorge Delgado-Ron

    This compilation mixes both snapshots of personal experiences—some of them really good—with short stories that aimed to summarize the whole thing with little to no success. Graphically, there are very high quality works and other NICK-like cartoons that I chose to hate. But what are compilations if not a fanesca of what’s good and bad with rushing publishers and talented editors. What I do tell you is that there is enough material for a shorter five-star compilation (featuring mostly lived exper This compilation mixes both snapshots of personal experiences—some of them really good—with short stories that aimed to summarize the whole thing with little to no success. Graphically, there are very high quality works and other NICK-like cartoons that I chose to hate. But what are compilations if not a fanesca of what’s good and bad with rushing publishers and talented editors. What I do tell you is that there is enough material for a shorter five-star compilation (featuring mostly lived experience of comic artists and not so much adaptations or scripted fables).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Bartos

    *2.5 Stars I think maybe I'm just too close to this. This will be a great graphic anthology for people years from now to look back on the pandemic and quarantine, and so I'm glad it's out there. But as an anthology, there were many I enjoyed and many I didn't, and I found myself mostly skimming the last 50 to 100 pages, especially as I found a lot of the stories to be saying similar things. It just gets repetitive and also is...for lack of a better term, a bit of a downer. Obviously, I'm not rati *2.5 Stars I think maybe I'm just too close to this. This will be a great graphic anthology for people years from now to look back on the pandemic and quarantine, and so I'm glad it's out there. But as an anthology, there were many I enjoyed and many I didn't, and I found myself mostly skimming the last 50 to 100 pages, especially as I found a lot of the stories to be saying similar things. It just gets repetitive and also is...for lack of a better term, a bit of a downer. Obviously, I'm not rating it lower for being sad, though. I guess maybe if I had read this in a few years, it may have hit differently, but these are my feelings right now. I did love seeing Brenna Thummler and the creators of Unshelved in there!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Noe

    I'm not going to lie: it's painful to read the stories in COVID CHRONICLES while we are still losing several thousand lives a day to the (mismanagement of this) pandemic. But if you can find the space for them, I think this is an important, necessary read. I'm not going to lie: it's painful to read the stories in COVID CHRONICLES while we are still losing several thousand lives a day to the (mismanagement of this) pandemic. But if you can find the space for them, I think this is an important, necessary read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ives Phillips

    For an anthology that focused on heavy topics such as COVID deaths and bigotry, almost none of the comics were really that impressive or memorable, nor did they resonate with me in a deep, meaningful way despite sharing some of the same circumstances with many of the artists during the pandemic.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aneesa

    Inspired my 5yo to write her own graphic memoir with a big red coronavirus on the cover. It is called "Life." Inspired my 5yo to write her own graphic memoir with a big red coronavirus on the cover. It is called "Life."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Hogmire

    Thank you to Graphic Mundi and Publishers Weekly for an advance copy of this title, which was published on Feb 15, 2021. I'm writing this review voluntarily. Shew, I have to admit: when I first saw this title coming up next in my long list of books to review, I thought, why did I request this? But I'm glad that I did. The subject is, of course, still so close to home and in many ways too emotionally difficult for me to assess, but I really admire this project. And I think it will get even more im Thank you to Graphic Mundi and Publishers Weekly for an advance copy of this title, which was published on Feb 15, 2021. I'm writing this review voluntarily. Shew, I have to admit: when I first saw this title coming up next in my long list of books to review, I thought, why did I request this? But I'm glad that I did. The subject is, of course, still so close to home and in many ways too emotionally difficult for me to assess, but I really admire this project. And I think it will get even more important with time, as an essential capsule of people's feelings and experiences during an impossible, seemingly never-ending, crisis. "COVID Chronicles" is a big 300 page comics anthology (one of my absolute favorite graphic genres, where we get to see a diverse group of creators tackle the same subject matter with a huge variety of artistic styles), collecting 64 short works over a six month period from April 2020 to October 2020. The selections range from hilarious to horrifying, fiction to nonfiction, informative to reflective, as we see artists from around the world detail their thoughts and experiences during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. People struggle with workplace negotiations, kids and parents attempt remote learning, families are separated by quarantine, loved ones die, front-line workers and medical professionals try to keep going, and people fill the streets in racial justice protests. There's plenty that I agree with here politically, and plenty that I don't (like that we should uncritically praise Anthony Fauci, given his fraught response to the AIDS crisis), but overall this is a solid gathering of art about the human condition during this time. Perhaps more significantly, this is the first release in a new imprint, Graphic Mundi from the Pennsylvania State University Press, which will focus on comics about topics like medicine, health, illness, and the body. I'm excited to check out their forthcoming projects and see what they do next.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    I think that objectively, I should not have read this book yet due to conflicting weird bad traumatic feelings about the pandemic, which is still going on. The cases are up by 190% in the United States as we speak. However, because this anthology was created during the months of March 2020 to the Fall of 2020, there are other more complex phenomena going on surrounding vaccine-related issues. I think that a few more editions of this anthology would be both helpful and beautiful. The pandemic is I think that objectively, I should not have read this book yet due to conflicting weird bad traumatic feelings about the pandemic, which is still going on. The cases are up by 190% in the United States as we speak. However, because this anthology was created during the months of March 2020 to the Fall of 2020, there are other more complex phenomena going on surrounding vaccine-related issues. I think that a few more editions of this anthology would be both helpful and beautiful. The pandemic is still going on, and I think I would like to hear more about people's experiences surrounding the vaccine. This made me feel much less alone. It really is astounding to see how other people have faced the same issue. I would love someone else to read this so that we could talk about it together.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is a different reading experience from most graphic novels, and even other GN compilations. Most of the short stories are shorter than I would expect in GN collections, and some are only one page, or one cell. Most have an unfinished feel, in that the story doesn't wrap up so much as just... stop. While all these things would normally feel really disruptive, it definitely fits with the subject matter. With the situation continuing to evolve, maybe there will be room for a companion novel. It This is a different reading experience from most graphic novels, and even other GN compilations. Most of the short stories are shorter than I would expect in GN collections, and some are only one page, or one cell. Most have an unfinished feel, in that the story doesn't wrap up so much as just... stop. While all these things would normally feel really disruptive, it definitely fits with the subject matter. With the situation continuing to evolve, maybe there will be room for a companion novel. It would be interesting to hear from people who read this for the first time several years from now. How will this topic-- and this style-- age? Recommended for all public libraries where adult GNs circulate.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I think anthologies are always very hard to pull off, and Covid Chronicles didn't quite manage to do it. This collection is exceedingly timely, but it suffers for it as many of the entries are lackluster, repetitive, and in sore need of editing. Don't get me wrong, there are good entries in this book, but unfortunately they are outnumbered 5 to 1 easily. When you come across one it does feel a little like finding a diamond in the rough. The idea behind creating an anthology on COVID-19 is awesome I think anthologies are always very hard to pull off, and Covid Chronicles didn't quite manage to do it. This collection is exceedingly timely, but it suffers for it as many of the entries are lackluster, repetitive, and in sore need of editing. Don't get me wrong, there are good entries in this book, but unfortunately they are outnumbered 5 to 1 easily. When you come across one it does feel a little like finding a diamond in the rough. The idea behind creating an anthology on COVID-19 is awesome, I just think this book was rushed out too fast and as a result lacked the refinement a successful anthology needs.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rich

    Brilliant (and expertly curated) collection filled with endless talent from cartoonists from all over. Myriad styles and storytelling techniques are in this anthology yet it proves we’re all one. While difficult to look at while we’re still living through this once in a lifetime event, this book shines thanks to its inclusion of so many different perspectives and will likely become a gold standard reference for those studying what it was like during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Sowinski

    An Covid anthology feels a bit too soon because I feel like we are still in the middle of it to some extent. I feel like this book captures those early days in Spring of 2020. I enjoyed the stories, many resonated with my thoughts, feelings & fears, both then and now. I keep going back to the story from an Australian artist who talks about our future being constant catastrophe cycles based on their experience of the Australian Wildfires being followed by Covid shortly thereafter. Reading this an An Covid anthology feels a bit too soon because I feel like we are still in the middle of it to some extent. I feel like this book captures those early days in Spring of 2020. I enjoyed the stories, many resonated with my thoughts, feelings & fears, both then and now. I keep going back to the story from an Australian artist who talks about our future being constant catastrophe cycles based on their experience of the Australian Wildfires being followed by Covid shortly thereafter. Reading this anthology helped in a small way to process the catastrophe cycles we have all been through.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hans Otterson

    Some very poignant comics in this anthology and some real stinkers. Mostly middling. What's most interesting about this collection, though, is that so many of the stories simply...don't end. I don't mean they go on forever; I mean the opposite. You feel that you're building toward something, and then you turn the page, and apparently the story you were reading is over and the book is onto a new one, even though that story isn't over, you know what I mean? Unsatisfying, but also appropriate to the Some very poignant comics in this anthology and some real stinkers. Mostly middling. What's most interesting about this collection, though, is that so many of the stories simply...don't end. I don't mean they go on forever; I mean the opposite. You feel that you're building toward something, and then you turn the page, and apparently the story you were reading is over and the book is onto a new one, even though that story isn't over, you know what I mean? Unsatisfying, but also appropriate to the subject. Is this ever gonna have a real ending?

  24. 5 out of 5

    R.J. Sorrento

    An excellent visual depiction of the COVID pandemic experience that encompasses race, politics, gender, parenthood, and more. I enjoyed some of the artist’s work more than others on a visual level, but overall this is a solid book. I needed to take breaks while reading because it definitely stirred emotional responses since we are all in this pandemic currently. I recommend this to everyone looking for an artistic response to the pandemic. Thank you to Graphic Mundi for the digital ARC.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    The preface to this collection was written in October of 2020. It seems the comics were written between March and October 2020. So it can be strange to read, in April of 2021, about the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of people from a year ago. That weirdness aside, this collection is mostly strong, and when you do come across a piece you don't like, you can just skip ahead a few pages and start fresh with a new artist/writer. The preface to this collection was written in October of 2020. It seems the comics were written between March and October 2020. So it can be strange to read, in April of 2021, about the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of people from a year ago. That weirdness aside, this collection is mostly strong, and when you do come across a piece you don't like, you can just skip ahead a few pages and start fresh with a new artist/writer.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sean Kottke

    Some brilliant comics, some pedestrian, all a document of life in the pandemic. I should have opted for a print copy of this (if available) as the resolution of the Kindle version is so low that the text of several entries is unreadable and gets worse when enlarged. I have reservations about "graphic medicine" as a distinct genre space; I prefer to regard the collection as an international artistic response to crisis, a multivocal bearing of witness to the events of 2019-2020. Some brilliant comics, some pedestrian, all a document of life in the pandemic. I should have opted for a print copy of this (if available) as the resolution of the Kindle version is so low that the text of several entries is unreadable and gets worse when enlarged. I have reservations about "graphic medicine" as a distinct genre space; I prefer to regard the collection as an international artistic response to crisis, a multivocal bearing of witness to the events of 2019-2020.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rolando José Rodríguez De León

    This is not a Gn, is a testimony of the Pandemia we live in. It's a must in order to explain to future generations what it was like. I received this copy the next day I was diagnosed with Covd-19 and felt much of the stories in first person. I also did a spanish review here: https://pananime.com/LeAn/Entries/202... This is not a Gn, is a testimony of the Pandemia we live in. It's a must in order to explain to future generations what it was like. I received this copy the next day I was diagnosed with Covd-19 and felt much of the stories in first person. I also did a spanish review here: https://pananime.com/LeAn/Entries/202...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    I enjoyed this graphic novel consisting of various comics on the topic of the COVID pandemic. As always, the print format means that the content is quite far back in time, so that not everything is still correct or relevant. Still, an interesting time capsule on how things were in the earliest days of the pandemic.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lea M

    This didn't hit me as hard as I'd hoped, but I'm glad it exists. It starts to become a bit repetitive, and many of the brief stories feel unfinished. I think this will be easier to appreciate in a few years. For now, maybe it's just too soon. This didn't hit me as hard as I'd hoped, but I'm glad it exists. It starts to become a bit repetitive, and many of the brief stories feel unfinished. I think this will be easier to appreciate in a few years. For now, maybe it's just too soon.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Russell

    I struggled through many of the comics. Some were poignant, but some of the subjects got repetitive. Ultimately, Covid is just not a thing I'm ready to reflect on yet and it took reading this to make me realize that. I struggled through many of the comics. Some were poignant, but some of the subjects got repetitive. Ultimately, Covid is just not a thing I'm ready to reflect on yet and it took reading this to make me realize that.

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