Zine Review: Welcome To Nursing HELLo

Welcome To Nursing HELLo
Joel Craig
36 pages

Welcome To Nursing HELLo is a 13.5cm x 17cm black and white comic zine about Joel’s life as a nurse.

This is one of those zines I’m very curious about but am almost a little wary because nurses go through a lot of intense situations! But curiosity wins.

Welcome To Nursing HELLo opens with some fine print type details on the inside front cover before getting right into the comics with a brief introduction to Joel. From there we get into a wide variety of topics: the impact of hours and scheduling, interactions between nurses and between nurses and doctors, and even a dream with Madonna. Some stories are funny, some tense, and others are even educational with a ‘tips for nurses’ feel.

The middle spread of the comic serves as a game board for ‘The Nurse Game’, which even has a set of rules and some ‘Get Out of Employee Heath Free’ cards. With board spots like “Catch a PT having sex in their room w/visitor but they have visitor ID band. Close door” and “Perform well during a code. Move ahead 3 spaces”, it’s not a game for the faint of heart.

The zine wraps up with a few panel hints about what (I assume) will be coming in the next zine.

Zine Review: Welcome To Nursing HELLo is a perzine in comic form, and I love a perzine. I prefer to start at the beginning of a series, but starting with the second one didn’t leave me wanting or confused for having not read the first one. It continues on seamlessly (from all appearances) from the first one after the brief introduction.

Anything I was confused about came from a lack of nursing knowledge. For instance, I had no idea what a charge nurse is, but I did get the general gist of the role from the comic. I’m also still not clear about nurse hierarchy and have no idea what an NA is, but there was nothing that took me completely out of the story itself. (Nor do I feel they need explaining within the comic unless it’s specific to the story like “I had to report to this person”.)

Joel’s writing is real about how things are happening but doesn’t get stuck in details (as you really can’t for a well-paced comic with limited text space) – and also doesn’t get into any shock/horror factors, which I greatly appreciated.

All up, Zine Review: Welcome To Nursing HELLo was a very interesting read with a lot of unfamiliar to me content. There wasn’t much I could identify with as such, but that made it all the more satisfying to my curious self. I recommend giving this one a look, and I will be getting the others in the series.

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