Book Launch for COVID Chronicles: A Comic Anthology

Friday, February 19, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Jason Chatfield, Sarah Firth, Rob Kirby, Stephanie Nina Pitsirilios, and Kendra Boileau will discuss their book Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology. They will be joined in conversation by Matthew Noe.

Presented in partnership with Graphic Mundi

Virtual Event


About the book: 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. 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.

About Jason Chatfield: Jason Chatfield is an Australian cartoonist and illustrator based in New York. His work has appeared in magazines, online, and in books published by Penguin Random House and HarperCollins. He is the current president of the National Cartoonists Society. Chatfield is an internationally syndicated cartoonist, writing and drawing the iconic comic strip Ginger Meggs, launched in 1921, which is published in thirty-four countries daily by Andrews McMeel Syndication.

About Sarah Firth: Sarah Firth is a Melbourne-based, Eisner Award–winning comic artist, author, and internationally renowned graphic recorder. Her work has been published by ABRAMS Books, ABC Arts, frankie, Penguin Random House, Picador, Allen & Unwin, The Nib, Black Inc, and Routledge. She is currently working on her debut graphic novel.

About Rob Kirby: Rob Kirby is a cartoonist and writer currently living in St. Paul, Minnesota. His books include Curbside Boys and the anthologies The Book of Boy Trouble (co-edited with David Kelly), the Ignatz-nominated THREE, the Ignatz-winning QU33R, and The Shirley Jackson Project: Comics Inspired by Her Life and Work. He is currently working on Marry Me a Little, a graphic memoir about getting (gay) married in middle age. Online at http:// www .robkirby comics .com; Twitter & Instagram: @robkirby comics.

About Stephanie Nina Pitsirilos: Stephanie Nina Pitsirilos, MPH, is a writer, public health advocate, and volunteer librarian in a public elementary school in NYC. Comic book realism and the heavy hand of history are recurring themes of her writing. Her work can be found in the digital anthology Insider Art, a benefit anthology for the comic book industry; in Heroes Need Masks, a benefit anthology for #GetUsPPE; in the Webtoon short story DR163; and in Speculative Fiction for Dreamers: A Latinx Anthology (Ohio State University Press, 2020), which paneled at the 2020 AWP conference and book fair.

About Kendra Boileau: Kendra Boileau is the Publisher of Graphic Mundi and the Assistant Director and Editor-in-Chief of Penn State University Press. She developed the Graphic Medicine line of graphic novels for PSU Press and went on to launch the Graphic Mundi imprint in 2021. Boileau has been a judge for the annual Lynd Ward Prize for the Best Graphic Novel, and she serves on the Lynd Ward Prize Advisory Board. Boileau is also a French-to-English translator of graphic novels.

About the moderator: Matthew Noe is the Lead Collection & Knowledge Management Librarian at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the boards of both the Graphic Medicine International Collection and the American Library Association, Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table.

Event Location: