Two-Week Wait: An I.V.F. Story by Luke C. Jackson, Kelly Jackson & Mara Wild
This graphic novel is a fictional story based on the real-life experience of Melbourne-based wife-and-husband writer team Kelly and Luke Jackson. The authors are in-vitro fertilisation veterans themselves and have interviewed other IVF couples in order to create the script for this story of Conrad and Joanne, a couple in their late thirties who decide to have a child but face fertility hurdles in their way. Cue their entry into the demi-monde of IVF procedures: sperm donation, endometriosis surgery, embryo implantation … The book demystifies the technical processes of IVF for readers, and tracks the ups and downs (there are a lot of downs) on the couple’s emotional rollercoaster. This graphic novel delivers a narrative drenched in technical IVF procedural detail as well as personal and emotional scenes. There is a lot at stake. It is dramatic material.
But it is a graphic novel too, and there is the vital contribution of the artwork to the ultimate tone of the book. The drawings, by the talented German illustrator Mara Wild, are full of light and air. They extend a friendly hand to the reader of this necessarily dark, medical, emotional tale. Wild’s character design, page layout and loose, expressive linework make the book a pleasure to read. Her limited colour palette and pencil-textured drawings make for a cartooning style which builds an aesthetic both serious and vulnerable, and which provides a well-judged complement to the subject matter.
Two-Week Wait marks the entry of local publisher Scribe into the field of graphic novel publishing, which is very exciting for those of us with our eye on this artform. It is a beautifully drawn, heartfelt, real- feeling examination of the struggle to become parents.