Episode 136: Jennifer Hayden
“The head space for a lot of people post-any kind of cancer is ‘I gotta get going,’” Jennifer Hayden explains with the positive energy of an all-star slugger holding a World Series trophy aloft. Whatever it is, I’m gonna jump on it. Everything is doable, everything is wonderful, thank God I’m still here.” When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 43, the struggling artist turned to comics for the first time in her adult and found a medium that had changed dramatically from the Archie Digests she grew up on. In comics Hayden discovered the perfect form in which to tell her memoir. Released last month by Top Shelf, The Story of My Tits is a book ever bit as bare as its title implies, forming her biography through the titular body parts into a work that is, in turns, both serious and silly, much like Hayden herself. What follows is a mediation on cancer, creativity and the healing power of comics.