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  • Robinson
  • Robinson

Back, Sack & Crack (& Brain): A Rather Graphic Novel About Living With Embarrassing Health Problems

Robert Wells

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Prose: non-fiction, Graphic novels: true stories & non-fiction, Popular medicine & health, Self-help & personal development, Popular psychology

A graphic novel about chronic pain, mental health complications and mixed experiences of the medical profession from a talented comic book artist who turns years of agony and poor medical management into an hilarious and shockingly frank tale.

A story that brings tears to your eyes, in more ways than one. It touches you so much you it makes you want to cross your legs in sympathy - Nev Fountain, writer at Dead Ringers, author of Painkiller

Rob Wells has spent much of his adult life coping with chronic pain of different kinds - an embarrassing bowel problem in his early 20s, recurring testicular pain in his late 20s and 30s, and back problems requiring spinal surgery in his early 40s. Consistent through these experiences has been a feeling of being passed from pillar to post by the medical community, seemingly at a loss to explain the cause of these issues, or to find a lasting solution for them.

This hilarious and brutally frank graphic memoir tells Rob's story, taking us through emergency surgery for a misdiagnosed twisted testicle, the extremes of weight loss and weight gain, the insides of far too many public toilets, and having to resort to walking with a cane. As Rob's back, sack and crack all became causes for concern so too did his brain, as his recurring problems unsurprisingly left him with depression and agoraphobia.

This is the warm and witty story of a man's battle with his own body, and with the medical industry that couldn't quite appreciate the problem. For anyone who has ever felt let down by their doctors, or who has suffered with chronic pain that shows no sign of subsiding, Rob Wells bravely invites you to really get to grips with his balls.

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Robert Wells

Robert Wells is a writer, cartoonist and illustrator. He has written and drawn numerous comics including Crisp Biscuit, Crisp and Colin Comix, and is the artist of Department of the Peculiar (with writer Rol Hirst). He has produced illustrations for magazines such as Metal Hammer, Total Film and MusicTech. The first 15 pages of Back, Sack & Crack (& Brain) were short-listed for the 2014 Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel Prize.