Book Of The Month – May 2011
Written & Illustrated by Ross Mackintosh
One of the aspects that make comics great is that opportunity of escapism from everyday troubles and woes. What may start as a bad day could easily end snuggled-up in a nice warm bed, reading who the Guardians of the Galaxy are currently up against (Spoilers: no one. The series ended), as your anxieties drift away into the back of your mind.
However, on occasion we tend to get lost in these worlds, slowly becoming dependent on the individuals who play dress-up and fight crime, and you know, don’t exist. What Would Batman Do? has suddenly become a legitimate question for those who can’t differentiate from real life and comic books, nor show any concern about the problems plaguing the world around them. Sometimes we need to derail these happy-go-lucky stories with something that hits a little close to home, provoking us to show that we’re still human.
For the Book Of The Month selection for May, SEEDS by Ross Mackintosh does precisely that. In his first graphic novel from Com.x Comics, he tells the story of his father’s battle with cancer from a firsthand account. Chronicling the first detection of prostate cancer, followed by a secondary cancer in the lungs, Mackintosh compels the reader to look past feeling sorry for his father, and to celebrate the legacy he left behind instead. Chances are you know or knew someone in your life who has struggled with cancer, so it really does hit close to home for the majority.
On a personal note, I recently was informed of my grandfather being diagnosed with liver cancer, so while I was reading the graphic novel there was definitely a few moments that I could relate to regarding his current state of well-being.
By the end of the story, you feel like you have a better understanding of the kind of man he was, and are thankful that Ross Mackintosh provided you with the opportunity to get to know a complete stranger. For a first graphic novel, I was tremendously impressed by his art and storytelling. His style of art reminds me of someone else who I can’t recall at the moment, but it was simple and yet spoke volumes.
So before you go back to reading the latest Fear Itself tie-in, treat yourself to SEEDS by Ross Mackintosh. Perhaps it will compel you to go out and live life to the fullest a little bit more, appreciate the loved ones around you, and seize the day.