We’re calling in with this week’s “So You Want To Read Comics.” This is our weekly feature where we take a look at a single topic or genre, then give you two comic book recommendations, perfect for new readers, based on that topic or genre. This week we’re taking a look at comics for when you take a sick day.
Every once in a while, you just need a day away from work or school. In the U.S. 30 percent of workers do not take any sick leave, but among the 70 percent who do, the average amount of time taken yearly is around 2-3 days. Globally this amount increases to an average of 8-9, with some countries like Belgium reporting over 10 days annually taken for sick leave. Basically, that means that there are millions of days taken across the world and that means millions of opportunities to find something to spend time doing that isn’t work and is perhaps relatable to the situation you find yourself in. In the television world, the trope known as “The Sick Episode” exists and is described as when a main character takes a break from their normal activities due to illness or must push through regardless.
Here are a couple of comic books that you can read when you’re in need of something relatable to your sick day.
FEVER YEAR: THE KILLER FLU OF 1918
Writer: Don Brown
Artist: Don brown
Publisher: Clarion Books
It’s a time-honored tradition of those calling in to work to at least, slightly, exaggerate the severity of their ailment. So what better way to bone up on future symptoms to relay to your boss than learning about the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. This graphic novel explores the Spanish Flu pandemic from multiple angles, from societal impact, biological causes, lasting effects, and its lasting legacy on the historical events of the day. While this is a non-fiction book it takes an approach similar to the show Chernobyl in that while it doesn’t alter events it adds a human element to them in order to create tension and drama. This graphic novel also employs a striking, water-color art style that highlights the starkness of the time, making the world feel as if its life force and color had been drained out completely one case at a time.
Writer; Jean Thomas
Artist: Win Mortimer
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Unfortunately, sometimes a sick day also leads to needing actual attention from a healthcare professional, if for nothing else, to get a doctor’s note. In those cases, you could do much worse than going to the provider that heroes like Daredevil, Spider-Man, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage trust, The Night Nurse. Featuring three characters, Linda Carter, Christine Palmer, and Georgia jenkins (Linda actually taking on the title Night Nurse), this collection contains stories from across the Marvel Universe timeline when a lone nurse, armed with only her medical knowledge and a willingness to help, came to the rescue of some of the most powerful characters in the Marvel U. It succeeds in taking what is a somewhat mundane question, “who do superheroes go to when they’re injured” and adds a nice dose of drama to it, which in turns helps flesh out the universe as a whole.
So what is your comfort entertainment when you take a sick day? What did you think of these recommendations? Let us know in the comments section.