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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. 4 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 5 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.

  6. 5 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 5 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 4 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.

  13. 4 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...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    An eclectic set of comics which encapsulate life from March-October 2020. It really is hard to believe it's only been a year. It feels like 10. An eclectic set of comics which encapsulate life from March-October 2020. It really is hard to believe it's only been a year. It feels like 10.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ron Turner

    I really wanted to like this more but it's very redundant. Gets old quick. I really wanted to like this more but it's very redundant. Gets old quick.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Starry

    Flipping through this one and "Small Acts" by Stephanie Nina Pitsirilos and Seth Martel grabbed my attention Flipping through this one and "Small Acts" by Stephanie Nina Pitsirilos and Seth Martel grabbed my attention

  17. 4 out of 5

    J. Bradley

    A tough and necessary read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alex Kogay

    A lot of credit goes to the selected authors for this body of work. I am just not sure if this is the best selection that will serve as a snapshot of the pandemic. Much like the other books that came during COVID about COVID, it feels rushed and one sided. But I understand the importance of publishing the book so maybe there will be vol 2?

  20. 5 out of 5

    DoMonique Arnold

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jodi Sheridan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matt McGeorge

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ann A

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Collins

  28. 4 out of 5

    A. David Lewis

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

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