Isaac is isolated and alone, diagnosed with epilepsy, a disease his family won't acknowledge and his doctors don't understand. Based on the author's lived experience, MIS(H)Adra is a harrowing account of the daily struggles of chronic illness. Ata's four-color illustrations are vivid and intense, and his red, black, and blue depictions of seizures are especially powerful. This is a difficult book—frustrating, heart-wrenching, and exhausting. You may want to shake the characters from their seemingly willful ignorance. But, ultimately, watching Isaac learn to ask for help, and to trust those who are willing to give it, is moving and hopeful. -Emma— From Fall Booknotes 2017
An Arab-American college student struggles to live with epilepsy in this starkly colored and deeply-cutting graphic novel.
Isaac wants nothing more than to be a functional college student—but managing his epilepsy is an exhausting battle to survive. He attempts to maintain a balancing act between his seizure triggers and his day-to-day schedule, but he finds that nothing—not even his medication—seems to work. The doctors won’t listen, the schoolwork keeps piling up, his family is in denial about his condition, and his social life falls apart as he feels more and more isolated by his illness. Even with an unexpected new friend by his side, so much is up against him that Isaac is starting to think his epilepsy might be unbeatable.
Based on the author’s own experiences as an epileptic, Mis(h)adra is a boldly visual depiction of the daily struggles of living with a misunderstood condition in today’s hectic and uninformed world.
About the Author
Iasmin Omar Ata is an intersectional comics artist, illustrator, and game designer. Iasmin focuses on creating art centered around the themes of coping with illness, understanding identity, and dismantling oppressive structures.
“Visceral, hilarious, utterly human, and unlike anything you’ve ever read. An explosive debut.”
— Bryan Lee O'Malley, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Scott Pilgrim series and Seconds
“Mis(h)adra is singular, vibrant, and raw; Iasmin’s depiction of epilepsy lives at an eye-opening intersection of culture and youth.”
— Yuko Ota & Ananth Hirsh, acclaimed creators of the Johnny Wander series
“A powerful story about not only physical pain but also the pain of self-doubt and hopelessness. Mis(h)adra beautifully illustrates the struggle to stand up to that inner hopelessness, and come out the other end stronger than ever.”
— Kris Mukai, acclaimed creator of Commuter and Weeping Flower, Grows in Darkness
“Ata renders the story in a vibrant manga style…The details of Isaac's illness feel decidedly lived-in…palpably, dramatically realized…compellingly unique…the spotlight shone on an underrepresented demographic is commendable. Big and stylish—of particular interest to those dealing with epilepsy or wanting to know more about the condition.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Mis(h)adra is like nothing I’ve read before, both in its subject matter and its innovative visuals….Blends a psychedelic color scheme, arresting images, and a manga style for a searingly intimate work….Ata’s is a voice that should be heard.”
— Mahnaz Dar
“At once emotionally raw and aesthetically elaborate, bursting with style....transporting…beautiful.”