Zara Slattery
Coma. A Graphic Memoir

Commissioned | Professional

Why did you make this work:
Fascinated by the relationship between stories, language and our shared experience of trauma, I created Coma to better understand my medically induced coma and to share the inner world of ICU delirium to a wider audience. The first 15 pages were shortlisted for the Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition in 2018. Coma was later commissioned and published in 2021.

How was the illustration used:
These are sequential panelled pages, telling a story, part of a 272 page graphic memoir.

How did you make this work:
The two narratives of Coma were thumbnailed; mapped on a timeline; cross-referenced and plotted. The internal world of the coma was drawn with brush-pen and walnut ink; the colour, inspired by medieval manuscripts, was added digitally. The diary narrative was drawn in charcoal pencil with a digital blue overlay. The brittle nature of charcoal was used to reflect the primal emotions expressed.

Commissioner Name :
Corinne Pearman
Commissioner Company :
Myriad Editions

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Zara Slattery is a graphic novelist, illustrator and tutor. She studied Illustration at ECA and MA Design Communication at MMU. Zara writes and draws comics; collaborates with public sector organisations; runs creative workshops and freelances as an editorial illustrator. Clients include The British Council; the BBC, Women’s Weekly and Canterbury Cathedral.