Coma by Zara Slattery

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A beautifully painted graphic novel and a visual diary recording the monstrous and mundane, COMA is an astonishing record of one woman’s will to survive against the overwhelming pull of the deep.

In May 2013 Zara Slattery’s persistent sore throat turned into a deadly bacterial infection, after the paracetamol and ice pack prescribed by her GP failed to work. The world of Zara’s 15-day drug-induced coma, which she describes as ‘being trapped in a nightmare state that you can’t wake up from’ is rendered as a full-colour fantasy, with mythological creatures appearing out of nowhere as she battles to protect her three children against the forces of evil that threaten to engulf her. Meanwhile, her husband Dan tries to keep family life going as he faces the most difficult task of all: preparing the children for the likely loss of their mother. His diary, and that of the nurses in the Intensive Care Unit, who kept of record of Zara’s illness, interweave to make a heartbreaking graphic memoir.

Coma was shortlisted for the Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition 2018, the Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2020 and longlisted for the LDComics Awards 2019.

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