CONSTANTLY TALKING ABOUT DEPRESSION, researching depression and being depressed can be quite the downer. When I took on this subject, I knew I wanted to incorporate whimsy and humour. Even when I departed from that mindset, my co-designers reminded me that a satirical perspective invites discourse. I feel that humour makes a subject, as dark as depression, more accessible. In itself, design can often be portrayed as elitist and snooty; there is a common misunderstanding at ECU that design students are all analytical and precise. I want to create transparent communication about what design can be and what depression can involve. Yes, I can make fun of myself.

On my endeavour to find like-minded, funny and sad folk, there was a sudden rise of depression being represented in online comics. Of course my depressed hero will always be Charlie Brown, but it was amazing to not only see these comics but the bounty of positive comments from other depressed individuals. Two comics in particular have instilled a that’s totally how I feel moment.  Not only do they resonate, but they also work as effective tools to communicate depression to those who may not understand it.

HYPERBOLE AND A HALF • ALLIE BROSH

I remember when one of my good friends introduced me to Hyperbole and Half. Allie Brosh understood the endearing doofiness of our canine companions and she communicated that sentiment beautifully in her simple mspaint-style drawings. When I saw that she had updated with Adventures in Depression, I was pleased to see her humour was still carried through. Although I don’t agree with the “conclusion” of the comic (that depression can numb you to the point where you are invincible because nothing matters anymore), I am grateful that she could share her experiences that are mirror images of my days. Seriously, I look and feel like that pink sad sac on low days.

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

AKIMBO COMICS • B. PATRICK

It’s difficult to accept that other people may or may not understand depression, especially when they say things like, “you’ll get over it”.  This entry of Akimbo Comics went into high circulation when it replaced depression with a physical injury. It seems rather silly to tell someone to suck it up when it comes to a mutilated hand, no?

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