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Broken Hipster

Posted by Matthew Moyer on November 23, 2009

If I hadn’t been cataloging this zine for the collection, I may well have never have read it. (I usually avoid things with the word “hipster” in the title.) I’m glad I didn’t miss out on this one. Broken Hipster is a comic perzine from Emiko Badillo, and details her struggles with kidney disease via anecdotal offramps on traveling, the travails of a younger boyfriend, partying too hard, and pets.  What makes this zine stand out from a sea of similar perzines is it’s actually a valuable resource for people with kidney disease, their friends or family, or anyone who wants to know more about the human cost of this illness.

In matter-of-fact, plainspoken language and carefully rendered illustrations (and a glossary of terms), Badiko walks us through her daily dialysis ritual and all of the attendant side effects, and it’s strong stuff. She discusses all of the physical issues with an optimistic frankness, pulling no punches. The potential for self-pity in a situation like this is no doubt huge, but Badiko soldiers on, and a glimmer of hope is offered at the end when her brother offers his kidney for a transplant.

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