Jordan’s Sickness

Writer / Artist
Jordan’s Sickness
Jordan's Sickness review
  • UK publisher / ISBN: James Patricks
  • Release date: 2019
  • Format: Black and white
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Medical, Slice of Life

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition that it’s taken the British medical establishment a very long time to accept. What many sufferers have in common is their utter exhaustion and inability to cope with simple tasks, which is fobbed off by doctors using the convenient rebuttal that it’s all in the mind, and lack of treatment accompanies that attitude. It’s a position that’s lasted well into the 21st century, and perhaps the only positive aspect of the covid epidemic is so many people now report symptoms that more serious diagnosis will now surely occur.

James Patricks produced Jordan’s Sickness in 2019, just before covid struck, and what he considers a graphic novella takes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as a starting point for opening some family wounds. Justin lives with a mother who’s never had any patience for his dreaming, and who took particular exception to his imaginary friend during childhood. Now a teenager, he has important exams coming up that could determine his life’s path. However, the pressure of that and a fractious relationship with his mother leads to his collapse and a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, here from a more understanding medic.

It’s a shame Patricks the artist is nowhere near as capable as Patricks the writer, as the just functional art could put people off reading what’s a finely constructed personal drama with considerable emotional depth. Patricks unpicks the family history masterfully, and applies reason and logic to the circumstances he sets up. It’s ambitious, heartfelt and resonates successfully, and he could do far worse than punting the story to a publisher with an artist more capable of fine tuning the drama.

Jordan’s Sickness was never circulated via bookshop channels, but you try contacting Patricks via the publisher of his next project at