Tony Pickering

MA Illustration

Diabetes: Year One is a ‘comics-anthology’ that synchronizes the formal demands of poetry and comics to chart my first year since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. From the moment of revelation: “you have type 1 diabetes”, there is a dissonance between fact and understanding; what does the diagnosis truly mean? 

The poems offer a patient perspective to explore the design of the patient-practitioner interface, aimed at developing awareness and understanding of the patient experience for new diabetics, parents and family, medical practitioners and, in a wider sense, patients.

Through living with and reflecting on type 1 diabetes the notion of my 'self' has meant negotiating and re-negotiating my sense of medical identity – sometimes sequentially, though oftentimes my understanding has been more ad-hoc. In depicting my medical identity the meter of panel and gutter has been a powerful way of “unflattening” [Sousanis] the fragmentation of experience, knowledge and memory, and in doing so questioning our understanding of what we mean by ‘comic’ at the same time.

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