BBC – Long Live My Happy Head (2022)

BBC – Long Live My Happy Head (2022)
English | Size: 1.09 GB
Category: Documentary

What would you do if you were told you had a dramatically life-shortening illness at the age of just 32? Start making comic books about it, of course! Well, that’s what Gordon did.

Gordon is a Scottish comic book artist with an inoperable, incurable, high-grade malignant brain tumour. By making autobiographical comics about his experience, he is able to communicate his thoughts and reactions to cancer in a medium and language that is disarming, accessible and inviting.

Gordon is now approaching his fortieth birthday and has found Shawn, a warm-hearted and protective American who lives in Bath County, Virginia, and who is the love of his life. Their relationship may be long-distance, but they talk on the phone every day and visit each other as often as possible.

Although his previous comics focused on his own personal experiences, Gordon has chosen to focus on the carers who look after people with cancer for his next book. However, his tumour is growing again and he is on chemotherapy while meeting and interviewing people who have cared for and lost their dearest loved ones to cancer.

Covid-19 then halts travel and forces Gordon, with a compromised immune system, to shield indoors from the virus. This coincides with the news that his chemo is not working and he may have less than a year to live. Creating his next comic gives Gordon a purpose as he stays locked away in his apartment, but it is the love and support he receives from his friends and from Shawn that really keep him going. Moments of happiness and laughter punch through the uncertainty and fear of lockdown, and as the world begins to open back up, Gordon and Shawn can finally be together again. An exhibition of the work Gordon has created while confined to his home gives hope for life in a post-pandemic world.

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