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Cancer Vixen: A True Story (Pantheon Graphic Novels)

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Coming in paperback: the groundbreaking graphic memoir that has inspired breast cancer patients to fight back?and do it with style. "What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds . . . a lump in her breast?" That's the question that sets this powerf Coming in paperback: the groundbreaking graphic memoir that has inspired breast cancer patients to fight back?and do it with style. "What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds . . . a lump in her breast?" That's the question that sets this powerful, funny, and poignant graphic memoir in motion. In vivid color and with a taboo-breaking sense of humor, Marisa Acocella Marchetto tells the story of her eleven-month, ultimately triumphant bout with breast cancer?from diagnosis to cure, and every challenging step in between. ?One of Time.com's top ten graphic novels of the year ?Slate.com's medical book of the year ?One of the Wall Street Journal's five best books on living with illness ?Finalist, Books for a Better Life ?Finalist, National Cartoonists Society Graphic Novel of the Year "Powerful . . . A vibrant, neon chronicle with plenty of atti?tude . . . A triumph of imagination and spirit." ?Los Angeles Times "Ebullient . . . Visually invigorating and unflinching." ?The New York Times Book Review "Irresistibly authentic . . . These words and pictures convey humility and humanity with witty grace and heartfelt power." ?The Miami Herald "Funny, eye-opening, moving." ?TimeCartoonist Marisa Acocella Marchetto's graphic memoir about her battle with breast cancer is as bold, vibrant, and brave as she is--pumped full of color, the story leaps off the page and into your heart. Poignant and funny, this inspiring story is made all the more powerful by Marchetto's cartoons. Lucky for us, Marchetto agreed to create a cartoon just for Amazon.com customers. Check out her strip below. --Daphne Durham Amazon.com Exclusive: A Cartoon from Marisa Acocella Marchetto Meet Marisa, a self-described "shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, single-forever, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life."


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Coming in paperback: the groundbreaking graphic memoir that has inspired breast cancer patients to fight back?and do it with style. "What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds . . . a lump in her breast?" That's the question that sets this powerf Coming in paperback: the groundbreaking graphic memoir that has inspired breast cancer patients to fight back?and do it with style. "What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds . . . a lump in her breast?" That's the question that sets this powerful, funny, and poignant graphic memoir in motion. In vivid color and with a taboo-breaking sense of humor, Marisa Acocella Marchetto tells the story of her eleven-month, ultimately triumphant bout with breast cancer?from diagnosis to cure, and every challenging step in between. ?One of Time.com's top ten graphic novels of the year ?Slate.com's medical book of the year ?One of the Wall Street Journal's five best books on living with illness ?Finalist, Books for a Better Life ?Finalist, National Cartoonists Society Graphic Novel of the Year "Powerful . . . A vibrant, neon chronicle with plenty of atti?tude . . . A triumph of imagination and spirit." ?Los Angeles Times "Ebullient . . . Visually invigorating and unflinching." ?The New York Times Book Review "Irresistibly authentic . . . These words and pictures convey humility and humanity with witty grace and heartfelt power." ?The Miami Herald "Funny, eye-opening, moving." ?TimeCartoonist Marisa Acocella Marchetto's graphic memoir about her battle with breast cancer is as bold, vibrant, and brave as she is--pumped full of color, the story leaps off the page and into your heart. Poignant and funny, this inspiring story is made all the more powerful by Marchetto's cartoons. Lucky for us, Marchetto agreed to create a cartoon just for Amazon.com customers. Check out her strip below. --Daphne Durham Amazon.com Exclusive: A Cartoon from Marisa Acocella Marchetto Meet Marisa, a self-described "shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, single-forever, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life."

30 review for Cancer Vixen: A True Story (Pantheon Graphic Novels)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    Have you ever read a book, passed it on to someone who you think would also appreciate it, only to buy it again ... and again? This is such a book. Cancer can hit anyone. The author of this book never thought it would affect her; she was young and fit. So is the person to whom I am giving the copy I have in front of me. She also is young and fit, with a 7 month old baby. Of course progress is being made in the medical world all the time, but the stark facts still apply. Cancer is a killer. This b Have you ever read a book, passed it on to someone who you think would also appreciate it, only to buy it again ... and again? This is such a book. Cancer can hit anyone. The author of this book never thought it would affect her; she was young and fit. So is the person to whom I am giving the copy I have in front of me. She also is young and fit, with a 7 month old baby. Of course progress is being made in the medical world all the time, but the stark facts still apply. Cancer is a killer. This book is by a survivor. Not everyone is, even if they are in spirit and fully intend to be in fact. A lot of it is still a matter of luck even with all our knowledge. But Marisa Acocella Marchetto faced her diagnosis and treatment with defiance and humour. And in that, many of us feel a kindred spirit. There are many books about cancer written by survivors now, from all points of view and styles. This graphic book seems unique. The author uses a technique she knows to convey her innermost thoughts and reactions, personal to her but so very understandable to us all. Marisa Acocella Marchetto starts from before the original diagnosis. As a young professional, a cartoonist and graphic artist in the city, she had a high-octane, partying, fashionable lifestyle. Cancer was the furthest thing from her thoughts. She also had no health insurance at the time of her diagnosis. And she lived in the USA. As much as anything I was gripped by her personal situation. This woman was very different from me. For instance I could not understand how losing your hair could seem at all important at such a time. But we shared a common humanity, and so will you. I was moved by her plight, and shocked that the first thing hospitals do in the US is to ask for your credit card. The "story" drew me in. Make no mistake, it is a searingly honest account. Marchetto pulls no punches as she uses her artistry to chronicle her experience of breast cancer, and all through the various treatments. Her dour sense of humour makes this a real page-tuner. She goes into many aspects of her life, attitudes by others, and alternative suggestions of treatment. I read it alongside my own treatment and was amazed that she could continue to work at this. Some people cope well with the chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, which are all described in great detail. Others have to rest, to recover, to adjust - or even perhaps sadly to accept their new situation if the diagnosis is terminal. We are all different. But this author had such guts and determination that she pushed through on sheer willpower, and finished her 216-page book. (A colourist has put the final touches to ensure that it is a bright and attractive read.) I am grateful that she did. And also of course that she survived to be able to do this, which is the other, less predictable, component. I recommend this as essential reading for anyone afflicted by cancer - or anyone close to them. Others too, as it is an eyeopening account. It is specifically very informative about the breast cancer treatment Marchetto experienced, but the techniques apply across all cancer treatments. And, unexpectedly, it's a fun read. If you too feel that there is still humour to be had in some of the direst situations in life, you will enjoy this book. The author states at the end, "I would like to acknowledge those who will battle, who are battling, and who have battled not just breast cancer but all cancers. I pray for a cure, and look forward to the day when we are all cancer-free." I have rewritten this review, on the day chemo starts for the person I am giving it to, in her honour. I know she has the guts to face whatever is to come. Perhaps reading this book might help others to face a grim situation with similar courage.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Thank You to Jean, (Goodreads friend), for recommending this book! Marisa Acocella Marchetto is a graphic cartoonist artist....and Cancer Survivor. In this true story Marisa says..."Cancer, I Am Going To Kick Your Butt". With humor, warmth, colorful expressive drawings, Marisa reminds us and awakens us that Cancer is more than surviving an illness ... It can transform a person's life. The journey we take with Marisa begins when she was swimming laps and noticed her arm hurt..."something fishy". S Thank You to Jean, (Goodreads friend), for recommending this book! Marisa Acocella Marchetto is a graphic cartoonist artist....and Cancer Survivor. In this true story Marisa says..."Cancer, I Am Going To Kick Your Butt". With humor, warmth, colorful expressive drawings, Marisa reminds us and awakens us that Cancer is more than surviving an illness ... It can transform a person's life. The journey we take with Marisa begins when she was swimming laps and noticed her arm hurt..."something fishy". She was diagnosed with a lump in her breast. Her book is a realistic honest storytelling of the ins and outs of what comes next... ( after the lump). Feelings, ( the full range), phone calls, conversations with family & friends, her thoughts about shoes, style, and her ongoing desire to continue to enjoy living as close to normal as she ever has, working and meeting deadlines, exercise, ( good days and not so good), and a close look at the process with chemo and radiation. Marisa opens herself up fully to us...( letting us see her sparkling-and down to earth personality), by telling us about her life before Cancer -- and how Cancer changed everything. She warns us about the risks of not having health insurance. Statistics of surviving Cancer without health insurance is much lower. Marisa - herself did not have health insurance -( she had let it lapse), was offered Financial help from her parents and fiancé. A fiancé at her side ( a beautiful love story), and support coming out of the woodwork ... much of Marisa's story is very inspiring. Many thanks to Marisa for adding lightness to darkness, charming us with your drawings, and being an inspiration to many. Perfect gift book for my friend Meara... who was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer and has started treatment at Stanford. NOTE: I wouldn't suggest an ebook. ( it's possible), but couldn't be nearly as colorful.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    "I love you." Three little words a woman longs to hear. "It's on sale!" Not bad either. "You have cancer." No. Nobody wants to hear that. Breast cancer is one of the things women fear most. It's not only that you can freakin' die from it. There's the possible disfigurement, losing your hair from the chemo, the worry that no one will ever find you attractive again. With her wedding day drawing near, Marisa's doctor discovers a lump in her breast and sends her spiraling down a rabbit hole full of fea "I love you." Three little words a woman longs to hear. "It's on sale!" Not bad either. "You have cancer." No. Nobody wants to hear that. Breast cancer is one of the things women fear most. It's not only that you can freakin' die from it. There's the possible disfigurement, losing your hair from the chemo, the worry that no one will ever find you attractive again. With her wedding day drawing near, Marisa's doctor discovers a lump in her breast and sends her spiraling down a rabbit hole full of fear and nightmares. This graphic novel candidly chronicles her experiences. Despite the subject matter, it's anything but a downer of a book. From dealing with conflicting advice doled out by doctors and well meaning friends, to deciding which shoes to wear to chemotherapy, the author manages to find some humor in most situations. A scene where she phones her oncologist, gets put on hold, and has to listen to The Bee Gees singing "Stayin' Alive" made me chuckle. I've had a few friends who've had to fight breast cancer, and the one thing I've learned from them (besides GO AND HAVE THOSE GODAWFUL MAMMOGRAMS!!!) is that a good attitude and a sense of humor are just about as important as chemo and radiation.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan H.

    1) It feels weird to rate someone's cancer memoir. 2) Essentially, it's a real-life sexandthecity-type fairy tale, but with a really great and detailed account, in graphic novel form, of one woman's experience with diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Her cartoon drawings of the cancer cells are pretty great, and the way she relates the details of ongoing treatment is probably very helpful for a lot of women in a similar boat. 2a) I like fairy tales. I like graphic novels. Not a fan of Sex a 1) It feels weird to rate someone's cancer memoir. 2) Essentially, it's a real-life sexandthecity-type fairy tale, but with a really great and detailed account, in graphic novel form, of one woman's experience with diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Her cartoon drawings of the cancer cells are pretty great, and the way she relates the details of ongoing treatment is probably very helpful for a lot of women in a similar boat. 2a) I like fairy tales. I like graphic novels. Not a fan of Sex and the City. I hated all the drawings of the author's shoes. But she's the cartoonist for Glamour magazine, so... 3) I liked a lot about this book, but my enjoyment was fairly limited by the author's NY existence and monied privilege. True, she goes through the horrible experience of a cancer diagnosis without health insurance-- but she does it in a couple hundred pairs of very expensive shoes and with a partner who is a loving, well-off, Maserati-driving, restaurant-owning chef. Not to mention massive amounts of social support. And a doting mother (whom she refers to, over and over, as her "(s)mother," which made me grind my teeth) who goes with her to each and every chemo appointment. 3a) As a social work intern in an outpatient cancer center, I am regularly being reminded that cancer sucks for everyone, and that everyone's experience of said suckage is valid. Um. Maybe up to a point. This author does have some excellent moments of gaining perspective about how lucky she is, but most of the patients I end up seeing have so few resources that I can't even imagine anyone I could recommend this book to. Except maybe next year's intern... 4) I have Audre Lorde's The Cancer Journals on my nightstand as my next book in line. I might have to read something else first as a brain cleanser.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dave Riley

    There's some great panel story telling in parts of this graphic novel. Inventive. Engaging. Funny. And while the story is a important chronicle I found this 'memoir' of Marchetto's battle with breast cancer self indulgent and egocentric. It was like a 'Sex in the City' episode that played upon so many New York caricatures. I suppose thats' how the literati lives -- food, fashion, dating, psychiatry, Kabala -- in the Big Apple, but how we poor minions supposed to relate to that lifestyle? We get e There's some great panel story telling in parts of this graphic novel. Inventive. Engaging. Funny. And while the story is a important chronicle I found this 'memoir' of Marchetto's battle with breast cancer self indulgent and egocentric. It was like a 'Sex in the City' episode that played upon so many New York caricatures. I suppose thats' how the literati lives -- food, fashion, dating, psychiatry, Kabala -- in the Big Apple, but how we poor minions supposed to relate to that lifestyle? We get enough of it from Woody Allen over and over again. Marchetto's problem is that her story needed a lot of editing. It is far too dense and detailed and wafts hither and yon about her indulgences. Nonetheless, I have to admire here candidness and respect her willingness to bare all as she struggled with the illness, her poor self esteem and her daily angst. I suspect it was published as it happened in the pages of one of the mags she draws for. That excuses the seeming circuitous narrative. The irony is that where the novel works so well is as a love story rather than as an exploration of cancer therapy and recovery. The cancer story telling is often a tad smart and almost contrived. I'm sure it wasn't in real life but there is so much mixed up in this, so much effete politics and more than enough shallow characters that the main plot drowns in all this other stuff.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I could not bring myself to like or even sympathize with the main character. She is a wealthy, privileged woman who doesn't need health insurance to pay her bills and is more concerned with losing her hair than with getting well. I could not bring myself to like or even sympathize with the main character. She is a wealthy, privileged woman who doesn't need health insurance to pay her bills and is more concerned with losing her hair than with getting well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Johnson

    this is exactly what it is like to have cancer. IF you are a new Yorker who cares more about shoes than anything else and has a millionaire boyfriend who pays for all your medical expenses and marries you in the end.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    For those of you of of my friends curious (and brave enough to ask) whether I have cancer or are otherwise sick: No, I do not have cancer or anything else life-threatening, as far as I know, thanks for your concern. I am reading as many stories of physical and psychological and neurological health as I can, to see how they navigate this tough terrain, personally and aesthetically and narratively. I don't much like this woman, a New Yorker cartoonist from the city, but the work is good and not se For those of you of of my friends curious (and brave enough to ask) whether I have cancer or are otherwise sick: No, I do not have cancer or anything else life-threatening, as far as I know, thanks for your concern. I am reading as many stories of physical and psychological and neurological health as I can, to see how they navigate this tough terrain, personally and aesthetically and narratively. I don't much like this woman, a New Yorker cartoonist from the city, but the work is good and not self-pitying or heroic, but as funny and true to her spirit as she can be, and the story is helpful, I think, for all those facing very specific details about health and relationships. The color and humor and spirit help make this readable, and even enjoyable, I suspect, for those who want to do everything they can to avoid this topic. It isn't all academic for me, though, since I know I likely will die at some point, and will face something terrible like cancer, etc. ALL of my five brothers and sisters are cancer survivors, and two of them were told to make out their wills and are still around twenty years later. So I am not naive, but curious how others face trauma of various kinds. Tolstoy has helped me in "The Death of Ivan Illych" and Anna Karenina (Vronsky's falling apart as his dear brother dies, as his wife deals calmly with every aspect of the crisis), but graphic memoirs have their own down to earth accessible ways of helping.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    What an amazing book!! I was so thankful when another BC friend brought this to me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 35. Powerful in the sense that it is in full color, and there were definitely days after being diagnosed with cancer that I didn't feel so colorful. The author, who also is a cartoonist for The New Yorker and other publications, tells her journey through cancer diagnosis and treatment. After reading this, I felt better in that I am not alone in my experience. I loved the What an amazing book!! I was so thankful when another BC friend brought this to me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 35. Powerful in the sense that it is in full color, and there were definitely days after being diagnosed with cancer that I didn't feel so colorful. The author, who also is a cartoonist for The New Yorker and other publications, tells her journey through cancer diagnosis and treatment. After reading this, I felt better in that I am not alone in my experience. I loved the drawings of the designer shoes she wore to chemo treatments. Even though I was a Merrill-wearing school librarian, I identified with the need to stay "normal" and connected with earthly possessions that really mean nothing. Sounds odd, but that connection helps you stay "grounded" and heal during your life-after-cancer.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Everyone who gets s Cancer diagnosis has a personal Cancer Journey and this graphic novel shares the author’s detailed experience. I’ve never been able to read a graphic novel before but this one drew me in and kept me reading to the finish. Great illustrations, witty wisdom, and a beautiful outlook on life.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pascale

    This book was recommended to me by a Comics Agent, as being “in my style.” OK. It so happened that I had never heard of this cartoon memoir about the author’s experience with breast cancer before. Finding it for $1 on a clearance shelf at Bed, Bath and Body was like, serendipity. Things I liked: the frank, courageous narrative of the emotions, stress, pain, etc. the author goes through. Things I hated: the fact that some people (the author) make it in the cartoon world, -such as being a cartooni This book was recommended to me by a Comics Agent, as being “in my style.” OK. It so happened that I had never heard of this cartoon memoir about the author’s experience with breast cancer before. Finding it for $1 on a clearance shelf at Bed, Bath and Body was like, serendipity. Things I liked: the frank, courageous narrative of the emotions, stress, pain, etc. the author goes through. Things I hated: the fact that some people (the author) make it in the cartoon world, -such as being a cartoonist for the New Yorker -, and some don’t (me); the fact that, no matter how the author professes moving beyond shallow things, she in fact evolves in a trendy, “it” world, where people eat it fancy restaurants, go on trip abroad, wear cool fashions (and I don’t); the fact that she has an amazing support group, including family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc., - which is truly good and necessary for overcoming cancer -, and I suspect that I would not have such support available to me if I were the one with cancer (no doting mother since mine died from breast cancer, very small circle of friends, etc.). So my response is mixed. Technically, the drawings are fun and detailed; I would like to read more about Marisa’s life even though I admit to feeling ambivalent about her (still not sure if I want to like her or not).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Curlita

    It's cool to see graphic novels becoming mainstream. This one is written and drawn by a cartoonist for the New Yorker and Glamour. It chronicles her experience with breast cancer; the fact that she uses illustrations gives it a whole different impact than if the tale had been strictly narrative. The reader gets a sense, first, of what her life is like (life as a New Yorker, her friends, her family, her adorably drawn and characterized fiance) and then adds the impact of the breast cancer. The st It's cool to see graphic novels becoming mainstream. This one is written and drawn by a cartoonist for the New Yorker and Glamour. It chronicles her experience with breast cancer; the fact that she uses illustrations gives it a whole different impact than if the tale had been strictly narrative. The reader gets a sense, first, of what her life is like (life as a New Yorker, her friends, her family, her adorably drawn and characterized fiance) and then adds the impact of the breast cancer. The story resonates more as a "Holy crap, can you believe I have cancer?" tale than a "My Battle With Cancer" tale.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    What happens when a cartoonist is diagnosed with breast cancer three weeks before her wedding? She writes and draws about her entire experience. I found myself completely enveloped in this story. The only graphic novels I've read in the past have all been memoirs, and I've loved them; there is something about adding artwork to words that brings things more to life. For anyone who knows or loves someone with cancer, this is a realistic look at what happens from diagnosis to your last radiation tr What happens when a cartoonist is diagnosed with breast cancer three weeks before her wedding? She writes and draws about her entire experience. I found myself completely enveloped in this story. The only graphic novels I've read in the past have all been memoirs, and I've loved them; there is something about adding artwork to words that brings things more to life. For anyone who knows or loves someone with cancer, this is a realistic look at what happens from diagnosis to your last radiation treatment. A compelling story that, thankfully, has a happy ending.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kats

    An honest yet humorous account of this talented cartoonist's breast cancer journey. Think Carrie Bradshaw having a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation all in one year, but obviously her main concerns are still the shoes she wears to chemo appointments, the other New York City women ogling her rich fiance, and what her hair looks like. I'm sure this would not appeal to readers with a more aggressive cancer / less hopeful prognosis / lack of rich parents or boy-friend shelling out for expensive treatm An honest yet humorous account of this talented cartoonist's breast cancer journey. Think Carrie Bradshaw having a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation all in one year, but obviously her main concerns are still the shoes she wears to chemo appointments, the other New York City women ogling her rich fiance, and what her hair looks like. I'm sure this would not appeal to readers with a more aggressive cancer / less hopeful prognosis / lack of rich parents or boy-friend shelling out for expensive treatments / lack of humour, but it worked for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I loved reading this graphic novel (my first). The drawings were great but the story is what I enjoyed. I loved Marisa's relationship with her husband and mother. The graphic novel was the perfect way to tell her story of cancer and the internal thoughts she was having toward her cancer, her body, her friends, etc. Reading this book helped me understand more about what happens during chemotherapy and the thought process of the individual going through the entire process of diagnosis, surgery, ch I loved reading this graphic novel (my first). The drawings were great but the story is what I enjoyed. I loved Marisa's relationship with her husband and mother. The graphic novel was the perfect way to tell her story of cancer and the internal thoughts she was having toward her cancer, her body, her friends, etc. Reading this book helped me understand more about what happens during chemotherapy and the thought process of the individual going through the entire process of diagnosis, surgery, chemo and radiation.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This was interesting for the practical chemo experience, but I got tired of her bragging about her old, supposed chick-magnet husband.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Liz B

    Marisa is a cartoonist working in New York City, about to get married, when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember reading about this book years ago (maybe before I was such a heavy library user) and even browsing through it in a bookstore--but I felt I couldn't afford it then, so I didn't get it. I think the thing I liked the most about this book was how it kept making me check my natural judginess. So Marisa? Definitely not the kind of person I am or am friends with. Fancy shoes, fancy Marisa is a cartoonist working in New York City, about to get married, when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember reading about this book years ago (maybe before I was such a heavy library user) and even browsing through it in a bookstore--but I felt I couldn't afford it then, so I didn't get it. I think the thing I liked the most about this book was how it kept making me check my natural judginess. So Marisa? Definitely not the kind of person I am or am friends with. Fancy shoes, fancy restaurants, friends with famous people...in fact, the kind of person I tend to be very judgy about. So she's diagnosed with breast cancer and has let her insurance lapse. I actually sympathize there--I can imagine that happening very easily. It's easy to drop the ball on important things that are annoying (and maybe anxiety-inducing) to take care of. It's overwhelming to her, of course, when she finds out her treatment might cost $200k. My first, very mean, very judgy thought was: "Well, you seem to have spent at least that much money on shoes." I'm glad to say that I examined that thought in light of what I actually believe: that every human being deserves excellent health care. (Even if her priorities before cancer were not my priorities.) The memoir has that thread running through it--Marisa doesn't present herself as perfect, and there are plenty of opportunities to re-examine herself and her perceptions of others. Plus it's a detailed look at cancer treatment, and an absolute treat in terms of how she organizes timelines and the various threads of the story. I strongly recommend it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alina

    What if Carrie Bradshaw got breast cancer the comic. So dumb and yet exactly what I needed right now

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I have read several graphic novels in the past year, and many of them have been memoirs. This story, about a fabulous New York cartoonist who dons equally as fabulous shoes, chronicles her year spent kicking cancer's ass. The cover image really depicts the personality of Marisa - she deals with her fears, her upcoming wedding, and her career through her magical storytelling and imagery. I really felt as though I came to know Marisa through her journey and I think this would be a great book for s I have read several graphic novels in the past year, and many of them have been memoirs. This story, about a fabulous New York cartoonist who dons equally as fabulous shoes, chronicles her year spent kicking cancer's ass. The cover image really depicts the personality of Marisa - she deals with her fears, her upcoming wedding, and her career through her magical storytelling and imagery. I really felt as though I came to know Marisa through her journey and I think this would be a great book for someone who is battling cancer. Yes, some of the sections are wrought with sadness and pain because she is so truthful about all of her experiences, but her wit and images of handling her fears offset that and just make it a really honest look into the life of a cancer survivor (hence, it makes a good gift). I hope creating this book helped her through her battle with cancer and offered her a form of therapy; I hope it helps others too. I think many will laugh, will cry, and will identify with Marisa whether they have had cancer or know someone who has. I have lost 9 women in my family to breast cancer, so this really hit home and I just really rooted for Marisa with every turn of the page. And, you have to love her husband. He is fantastic through all of this. I hope Marisa checks goodreads and knows that by pouring all of herself into this piece of work, she has done a really, really good thing. (AND, I am not trying to be rude by calling her by her first name, but it just feels appropriate after reading her memoir. It seems as though she would prefer that herself.)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    I'm kinda torn about how to rate this book. I was very drawn into the story, as I quickly read it in a day and a half. I felt a lot of sympathy for the character as she went through her journey of diagnosis and treatment, including her dealings with her friends and family, her ruminations on how and why this is happening to her and the long-term effect of this on her life. She made herself very human and accessible. The part I struggle with is that she is writing from such a position of privilege I'm kinda torn about how to rate this book. I was very drawn into the story, as I quickly read it in a day and a half. I felt a lot of sympathy for the character as she went through her journey of diagnosis and treatment, including her dealings with her friends and family, her ruminations on how and why this is happening to her and the long-term effect of this on her life. She made herself very human and accessible. The part I struggle with is that she is writing from such a position of privilege and is so engrossed in her New York City, image-obsessed world that makes her a little intolerable at times. She faces some hardship in the process, but has her Maserati-driving, rich restaurateur fiance/husband to fall back on, which is so different than so many others in her position deal with. She also makes a point to say that the mortality rate for women with breast cancer in the US is way higher for uninsured women, but treats that like it's an isolated fact, when really there's a whole context of accessibility to care and treatment around that fact - accessibility that she does not seem to lack. So, yes, a compelling, honest and worthwhile story, and one that I'm sure is very powerful for others dealing with this terrible disease. It's a story that takes place in a particular context, however, that is not the norm for most readers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mark Schlatter

    This is the story of a narcissistic, fashion obsessed, forty-something in New York and her discovery that she has breast cancer just a short time before her wedding to an Italian restauranteur. Save for one appeal factor (which I'll get to in a minute), this graphic novel has nothing that I should be interested in. Regardless, I loved this work. Marchetto's voice is so strong and her cartooning - though rough at times - is so compelling that I could not help but enjoy the read. It's not that Mar This is the story of a narcissistic, fashion obsessed, forty-something in New York and her discovery that she has breast cancer just a short time before her wedding to an Italian restauranteur. Save for one appeal factor (which I'll get to in a minute), this graphic novel has nothing that I should be interested in. Regardless, I loved this work. Marchetto's voice is so strong and her cartooning - though rough at times - is so compelling that I could not help but enjoy the read. It's not that Marchetto braves everything with humor (she tries, but fails), but that she always returns to the brash voice that keeps her going. Heck, this is a story that involves the protagonist consulting a phone psychic and a Kaballah-practicing rabbi (two things that typically set off my b.s. radar), and I still read with fascination. The one appeal factor that did attract me was Marchetto's work as a cartoonist. She details her regular visits to the New Yorker to sell her stuff (along with funny depictions of her competitors) along with a moving journalistic piece she did for Talk magazine right after 9/11.

  22. 4 out of 5

    China

    Had to read this for my graphic novels class. I feel like I should have liked this more considering her circumstances. Hell, my mom is a breast cancer survivor and I was like "this is something I can relate too." It wasn't. It was reeeeeeally hard for me to like Marisa. She was petty, a narcissist, and just had traits I really don't like in a person. I felt bad she had cancer, but she made it seem like she was the only person who had it and her case was the worst. It's all bad. Telling the doctor Had to read this for my graphic novels class. I feel like I should have liked this more considering her circumstances. Hell, my mom is a breast cancer survivor and I was like "this is something I can relate too." It wasn't. It was reeeeeeally hard for me to like Marisa. She was petty, a narcissist, and just had traits I really don't like in a person. I felt bad she had cancer, but she made it seem like she was the only person who had it and her case was the worst. It's all bad. Telling the doctor she would kill herself if she lost her hair? Petty. I'm glad she's better but I'm glad I finished the book so I don't have to listen to her anymore. The art was awful in my opinion. I didn't like her illustration style at all. The pages were cluttered with words and word bubbles to the point that sometimes I just skimmed many of them because it was just mindless chatter from her friends. It was too busy, too wordy, and poorly drawn. Glad you're better Marisa, but I'm just not a fan.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rex Hurst

    An autobiographical graphic novel of a somewhat vapid woman in her forties who is diagnosed with breast cancer. It was difficult to get into as the protagonists greatest fear, as she describes, is that she is afraid of losing her hair and putting on weight. She is an older woman who still acts as if she is in her twenties and constantly mentioning how her boyfriend is being hit on by younger women, but still prefers her. In the end she claims that her experience has caused her to mature as a pe An autobiographical graphic novel of a somewhat vapid woman in her forties who is diagnosed with breast cancer. It was difficult to get into as the protagonists greatest fear, as she describes, is that she is afraid of losing her hair and putting on weight. She is an older woman who still acts as if she is in her twenties and constantly mentioning how her boyfriend is being hit on by younger women, but still prefers her. In the end she claims that her experience has caused her to mature as a person, but I saw little evidence presented. The actual treatment parts are interesting, but it takes awhile to get there. This was originally serialized in Glamour, so I guess we couldn't expect anything deeper.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I guess it was unrealistic to expect more than lukewarm Glamour-grade aphorisms from this colorful and sassy graphic memoir, but when I heard that it was the new wave in cancer memoirs I expected some degree of emotional depth. I guess I should've read it when it first came out, since now it's established--perhaps thanks to this book--that you can be faaabulous while losing hair and enduring all of the other indignities of cancer treatment. At the moment, however, I found myself wanting some hea I guess it was unrealistic to expect more than lukewarm Glamour-grade aphorisms from this colorful and sassy graphic memoir, but when I heard that it was the new wave in cancer memoirs I expected some degree of emotional depth. I guess I should've read it when it first came out, since now it's established--perhaps thanks to this book--that you can be faaabulous while losing hair and enduring all of the other indignities of cancer treatment. At the moment, however, I found myself wanting some heart to balance out the shoe portraits and star sightings in Marisa Acocella Marchetto's narrative.

  25. 5 out of 5

    littlefaline

    i didn't enjoy this, the art was very unappealing to me. on the cover, it's fun and quirky, but when it's an entire book of it, it's too much; way too busy and i didn't think it was laid out well at times. each page was hard for me to read and the type chosen wasn't something i enjoyed either. it was quite a chore to get through this. i love fashion and i thought this would be something reminscent of Margaux Motin where the clothes are beautifully depicted and the jokes are really funny and rela i didn't enjoy this, the art was very unappealing to me. on the cover, it's fun and quirky, but when it's an entire book of it, it's too much; way too busy and i didn't think it was laid out well at times. each page was hard for me to read and the type chosen wasn't something i enjoyed either. it was quite a chore to get through this. i love fashion and i thought this would be something reminscent of Margaux Motin where the clothes are beautifully depicted and the jokes are really funny and relateable. overall i just wasn't into it. i ordered this online and if i'd flicked through it i probably would never have purchased.

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Jay

    I am fascinated and impressed by graphic novels that tackle serious topics and yet manage to do so with lightness and humor. "Cancer Vixen," like "Fun Home" and "Special Exits," does a wonderful job conveying the heft of the situation in question, but somehow I think the illustrations soften the blow. Marchetto is a fashion loving NYC gal (her depiction of what life in NYC can be like is spot on) who meets and falls in love with a fabulous, famous NYC restauranteur while also being diagnosed with I am fascinated and impressed by graphic novels that tackle serious topics and yet manage to do so with lightness and humor. "Cancer Vixen," like "Fun Home" and "Special Exits," does a wonderful job conveying the heft of the situation in question, but somehow I think the illustrations soften the blow. Marchetto is a fashion loving NYC gal (her depiction of what life in NYC can be like is spot on) who meets and falls in love with a fabulous, famous NYC restauranteur while also being diagnosed with and receiving treatment for breast cancer. The book is graphic, not just as in illustrated, but graphic in terms of Marchetto's description of her treatment. Very well done.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Derek Royal

    Rereading this book to prep for our upcoming podcast interview with Marchetto. Interesting example of autobio comics Art, but I feel mixed about this narrative, and much of that stems from my mixed feeling over protagonist/persona. At times, the New York-fashion/culture-more-superficial-everyone's-a-BFF side of her is difficult to empathize with. Rereading this book to prep for our upcoming podcast interview with Marchetto. Interesting example of autobio comics Art, but I feel mixed about this narrative, and much of that stems from my mixed feeling over protagonist/persona. At times, the New York-fashion/culture-more-superficial-everyone's-a-BFF side of her is difficult to empathize with.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    Wonderful I don't think I would have enjoyed this book so much had it not been in graphic form. What a neat way to read a book. I'm pretty amazed by the author's candor and for sharing so much of a bad time in her life with the readers of her book. I must keep up with her and also read her other book! Wonderful I don't think I would have enjoyed this book so much had it not been in graphic form. What a neat way to read a book. I'm pretty amazed by the author's candor and for sharing so much of a bad time in her life with the readers of her book. I must keep up with her and also read her other book!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tai

    Marisa is an excellent cartoonist and her work brings her story of surviving breast cancer to life. Funniest part: She wore Dior lipstick and Christian Louboutins to her first chemo treatment! Best. Diva. Ever.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    It may not be fair to say that I've read this book because I could barely make it through the first ten pages. The main character is annoying, and the art is terrible. The art was so bad, that it made it difficult to look at. It may not be fair to say that I've read this book because I could barely make it through the first ten pages. The main character is annoying, and the art is terrible. The art was so bad, that it made it difficult to look at.

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