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Ladydrawers: Epidemic

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 By Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes, Truthout | Graphic Journalism
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2015 0806rldr fb"Growing Season," The Ladydrawers' exploration of the links between public health, race and food policy, continues with this month's strip, "Epidemic," which traces links between federal laws and the alarming rise of autoimmune diseases in the US. It's drawn by Melissa Mendes, whose previous strips in the series - "Cultivating Policy" and "Cultivation" - looked at communities of color and food justice. It's a personal issue for The Ladydrawers Comics Collective (try to spot 'em all!), just as it is for a growing number of people around the country.

Ladydrawers: Epidemic

Notes
1. The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. (AARDA) goes on to note,"We at AARDA say that 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease. Why the difference? The NIH numbers only include 24 diseases for which good epidemiology studies were available." The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.,"Autoimmune Statistics." 


2. "There aren't a large number of epidemiological studies published [on autoimmune disorders] because it's very slow research - it can take 20 years. No investigator likes to do that kind of work. It's also very expensive," Noel R. Rose, MD, director of Johns Hopkins Autoimmune Disease Research Center, told Self in April. As for why these diseases are on the rise, Rose says, "There are good enough studies coming out to convince me that at least some autoimmune diseases are going up and going up quite rapidly. The question, of course, is why. There has to be some kind of environmental exposure, because genetics - which account for about a third of all cases - don't change that fast. See "Autoimmune Epidemic: The Medical Experts."

3. AARDA website, Ibid: "Autoimmune disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in female children and women in all age groups up to 64 years of age."

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes

Anne Elizabeth Moore is a comics journalist, cultural critic, and author of several award-winning, best-selling nonfiction books including Unmarketable (The New Press), Cambodian Grrrl, and Threadbare (Microcosm Publishing). She is a Fulbright scholar, a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow, and is the recipient of a 2016 Write A House Fellowship in Detroit. Her work has appeared in The Baffler, Al Jazeera, Salon, The Onion, Talking Points Memo, Wilson Quarterly, Tin House, and in international art exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennial and a solo show at the MCA Chicago. She has appeared on CNN, NPR, Voice of America, and in The New York Times, among others. Her most recent book, from Curbside Splendor, is Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes.

Melissa Mendes was born and raised in Western Massachusetts. In 2010, after graduating from the Center for Cartoon Studies, she won a Xeric award to self-publish her book Freddy Stories. Since then, she's worked with Anne on Threadbare and Harvey and Me, published a graphic novel called Lou, and is now working on an epic family saga called The Weight, based on her late grandfather's life. You can see more of her work at mmmendes.com.

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Ladydrawers: Epidemic

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 By Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes, Truthout | Graphic Journalism
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

2015 0806rldr fb"Growing Season," The Ladydrawers' exploration of the links between public health, race and food policy, continues with this month's strip, "Epidemic," which traces links between federal laws and the alarming rise of autoimmune diseases in the US. It's drawn by Melissa Mendes, whose previous strips in the series - "Cultivating Policy" and "Cultivation" - looked at communities of color and food justice. It's a personal issue for The Ladydrawers Comics Collective (try to spot 'em all!), just as it is for a growing number of people around the country.

Ladydrawers: Epidemic

Notes
1. The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. (AARDA) goes on to note,"We at AARDA say that 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease. Why the difference? The NIH numbers only include 24 diseases for which good epidemiology studies were available." The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.,"Autoimmune Statistics." 


2. "There aren't a large number of epidemiological studies published [on autoimmune disorders] because it's very slow research - it can take 20 years. No investigator likes to do that kind of work. It's also very expensive," Noel R. Rose, MD, director of Johns Hopkins Autoimmune Disease Research Center, told Self in April. As for why these diseases are on the rise, Rose says, "There are good enough studies coming out to convince me that at least some autoimmune diseases are going up and going up quite rapidly. The question, of course, is why. There has to be some kind of environmental exposure, because genetics - which account for about a third of all cases - don't change that fast. See "Autoimmune Epidemic: The Medical Experts."

3. AARDA website, Ibid: "Autoimmune disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in female children and women in all age groups up to 64 years of age."

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes

Anne Elizabeth Moore is a comics journalist, cultural critic, and author of several award-winning, best-selling nonfiction books including Unmarketable (The New Press), Cambodian Grrrl, and Threadbare (Microcosm Publishing). She is a Fulbright scholar, a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow, and is the recipient of a 2016 Write A House Fellowship in Detroit. Her work has appeared in The Baffler, Al Jazeera, Salon, The Onion, Talking Points Memo, Wilson Quarterly, Tin House, and in international art exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennial and a solo show at the MCA Chicago. She has appeared on CNN, NPR, Voice of America, and in The New York Times, among others. Her most recent book, from Curbside Splendor, is Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes.

Melissa Mendes was born and raised in Western Massachusetts. In 2010, after graduating from the Center for Cartoon Studies, she won a Xeric award to self-publish her book Freddy Stories. Since then, she's worked with Anne on Threadbare and Harvey and Me, published a graphic novel called Lou, and is now working on an epic family saga called The Weight, based on her late grandfather's life. You can see more of her work at mmmendes.com.

Related Stories

Health Care: Let's Have People Over Profits Once and for All
By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed
Health and Hierarchy
By Josh Davis, Grassroots Economic Organizing | News Analysis
Ladydrawers: Food and Freedom
By Sarah Becan, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Truthout | Graphic Journalism