Guts of Fury – The IBD Graphic Novel
Author: Amber Elder, Blogger & IBD Advocate at ColitisNinja.com
How do you explain what Inflammatory Bowel Disease is to your family, friends and coworkers in? Talking about chronic diseases isn’t easy… but a disease that includes symptoms like diarrhea and constipation? That’s really difficult to explain. People latch on to these two symptoms and think that it’s nothing but a really bad stomach bug. As patients of Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, we understand that it’s much worse than that.
How do you educate?
You can hand people a book or brochure. You can even point them to a website and educate someone about IBD. It may or may not be helpful. Brochures can be boring. Books are too long. People won’t read a website article in its entirety unless they are really interested in the subject. IBD is so complex that the information can be overwhelming. When people are bored, uninterested or overwhelmed, they start skimming for information, which leads to misinformation. This fact alone got me thinking; how can we help educate others about IBD in a way that makes sense? That’s when I came up with Guts of Fury, an IBD Graphic Novel.
I decided to create an IBD Graphic Novel that is entertaining, fun and educational all at the same time. I’m currently writing and illustrating the novel that loosely depicts my own battle with ulcerative colitis. In this day and age, people are constantly bombarded with pictures and graphics. Because visual stimulation is now commonplace, that I feel the best way to educate others is with pictures and graphics. What better way to do that than with a graphic novel?
The IBD Graphic Novel follows a young girl (Ammi) in her mid-20s who is suddenly thrust into a horrible battle with her colon. She faces not only a potentially debilitating disease, but scorn from coworkers, a boyfriend who doesn’t quite know how to deal with her situation, friends that don’t get it and a few incompetent doctors. Ammi soon finds good doctors and the support of others living with IBD. Although she’s able to get help, she still struggles with medications, her evil colon and trying to juggle a full-time job.
While stories differ from patient to patient, I feel an IBD Graphic Novel will echo a universal story of the difficulties patients face on a daily basis. Not only will the novel be story based, but it will feature infographics and help explain things like colonoscopies, treatments, and of course what inflammatory bowel disease is. Along with the educational portion of the IBD Graphic Novel, I’ll also include coping tips, travel tips, and more!
I’m extremely passionate about making this IBD Graphic Novel happen. I began Guts of Fury a little over a year ago. Earlier this year I sought funding for the project from eight different companies. I was denied by all of them. Despite the disappointment of rejection, I’m not going to give up. I feel this is something that the IBD community needs. It can help make sense of a complex disease.