Kimiko Does Cancer (2020)


At the age of twenty-five, Kimiko Tobimatsu was a young, queer, mixed-race woman with no history of health problems whose world was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In an instant, she became immersed in a new and complicated life of endless appointments, evaluations, and treatments, and difficult conversations with her partner and parents. Kimiko knew that this wasn’t what being twenty-five was supposed to be like . .. but then, she didn’t have a choice.

With tender illustrations by Keet Geniza, Kimiko Does Cancer is a graphic memoir that upends the traditional cancer narrative from a young woman’s perspective, confronting issues such as dating while in menopause, navigating work and treatment, and talking to well-meaning friends, health care professionals, and other cancer survivors with viewpoints different from her own. Not one for pink ribbons or runs for the cure, Kimiko seeks connection within the cancer community while also critiquing the mainstream cancer experience.

Honest and poignant, Kimiko Does Cancer is about finding one’s own way out of a health crisis.

From: Arsenal Pulp Press

Notes on This Title

This a graphic memoir depicting the author – a queer, multiracial (Japanese & white) person – in the aftermath of her receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer.


2021 ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table Best Graphic Novels for Adults


Kimiko Does Cancer isn’t a loud, clanging story that clambers to break the silence about the queer cancer experience. It’s a quieter, more thoughtful reflection that walks readers alongside what it feels like to lose and regain autonomy as a sick person.” (Source: Plenitude Magazine)

“Kimiko’s strong debut offers a fresh perspective in the growing graphic medicine category.” (Source: Publishers Weekly)


Graphic Medicine: “Interview with Kimiko Tobimatsu and Keet Geniza on Kimiko Does Cancer

Paul Semel: “Exclusive Interview: “Kimiko Does Cancer” Author Kimiko Tobimatsu & Artist Keet Geniza

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