James Burns sent me a link to his webcomic Detached, and I liked reading it.

Detached cover

It’s about how he was diagnosed and treated for a detached retina. As an artist, the possibility of losing his eyesight was horrific to him, a fear I can definitely relate to. I was intrigued by his story, all the more so because it was true.

A comic is a perfect choice to tell the tale, because he can draw what he saw during the ailment and treatment, sharing it with us directly. He also draws more symbolic images of his fear, using pictures to push emotion. He’s got some Kirby influence, and his art can seem a little stiff, but I’m ok with that in the case of non-fiction reporting.

I couldn’t read the page about the actual treatment, because it involved eye surgery. Ick! I’m glad they can do it, but I don’t want to know the details. Yet his page about his memory of the actual event is wonderful, because it uses imagery instead of scalpels.

At 28 pages, the comic moves along briskly. I appreciated his honesty, or at least what reads as honesty, especially at the end of chapter two, which concludes, “Religion is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

2 Responses to “Detached”

  1. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Aug. 20, 2008: The turn of Nagraj Says:

    […] Johanna Draper Carlson on James Burns’ autobiographical tale, […]

  2. Speechless Tells of Losing One’s Voice » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Burns, whose earlier comic Detached was about eye problems, has another medical story available. Speechless is about him being […]




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