An Arab-American college student struggles to live with epilepsy in this starkly colored and deeply-cutting graphic novel.
Isaac wants nothing more than to be a functional college student—but managing his epilepsy is an exhausting battle to survive. He attempts to maintain a balancing act between his seizure triggers and his day-to-day schedule, but he finds that nothing—not even his medication—seems to work. The doctors won’t listen, the schoolwork keeps piling up, his family is in denial about his condition, and his social life falls apart as he feels more and more isolated by his illness. Even with an unexpected new friend by his side, so much is up against him that Isaac is starting to think his epilepsy might be unbeatable.
Based on the author’s own experiences as an epileptic, Mis(h)adra is a boldly visual depiction of the daily struggles of living with a misunderstood condition in today’s hectic and uninformed world.
Originally serialized as a webcomic, Ata's debut tells the story of Isaac, an Arab-American college student struggling with epilepsy. His seizures, and the auras that precede them, leave him exhausted and often bedridden. A series of unsympathetic doctors are convinced his episodes are merely anxiety attacks. Meanwhile, he's on the verge of failing several of his classes due to unavoidable absences, and none of his friends seem to understand. Ata draws Isaac's good days in sunny yellows and soft pinks. His seizures attack in vicious spikes of black and red, often shaking him for 10 or more pages at a time. The only warnings are the auras, visually represented as a net of knives hanging over Isaac's head. Ata's art is terrific at depicting the hellish seizures, but the overall story, which takes place mostly within Isaac's thoughts as he heads for a somewhat anticlimactic breakthrough, suffers from a lack of grounding and detail.
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Perfect in everyway
The art, the story, the flow every little thing about this book I loved with a passion. It is probably my new favourite to be honest.