This exhibit traces the history of comics’ obsession with medicine from the 18th century to today. The earliest cartoonists frequently satirized a medical practice dominated by bloodletting, purging, and other largely ineffective treatments. Over the next two centuries, modern medicine would go through remarkable transformations. Comics were there for the good and the bad, helping to rebrand the doctor from quack to hero, but also critiquing a medical system that often privileged profits over patients. Drawing Blood highlights the sometimes caustic eye of cartoonists as they consider doctors, patients, illness, and treatment in the rapidly changing world of medicine—one which continues to present new possibilities and new challenges. The exhibit features work by a wide array of creators, from pioneers of cartooning like James Gillray, William Hogarth, Thomas Nast, and Frederick Opper to contemporary greats like Richard Thompson, Carol Tyler, John Porcellino, Alison Bechdel, and Julia Wertz.
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