Archives for posts with tag: comics

Inspiration: Comical Depression Pt. 3

BEATRICE THE BIOLOGIST  • WHEN WE ARE HURTING 

There’s something quite poetic about a biology-based comic addressing the human body and it’s varied means of healing. Our body’s acquire marks of history that can be considered evidence of living and experience. When I was a kid, I fell down a hill where the pavement below grated a crater into my left knee. Besides the pain, I remember well how long it took before I could take the bandages off (which is forever for a 9-year old). Three years later I tripped in the gravel field and the would opened up again. Although I felt like my body betrayed me, I knew I would heal.

The rate of healing is easier to gauge with a broken arm so maybe that is why we become more willing to allow our physical bodies to recover. Maybe the reason why mental health is so difficult to discuss is because we are used to seeing an end after the recovery. For many, this end is nonexistent. How can we openly talk or accept our conditions when the truth is so disturbingly unpredictable and uncertain.

Thank you Beatrice the Biologist (aka Katie McKissick) for reminding me that our expectations need to change about what healing truly means.

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JESS FINK • KID WITH EXPERIENCE

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this comic, it just fell into my lap at a much needed time (click the picture for full comic). What resonated with me was that the path of recovery isn’t linear. Each trip spent digging is different; some expeditions become cavernous and infinite, while others barely break the surface. Despite the dirt-smeared cheeks and soil-caked fingernails, you eventually come out for air. Maybe you’ll start digging again, but it’s those glimpses of “I can” that truly matter.

I’ve been familiar with Jess Fink’s spectrum of work for quite some time and I always admired her inky styles. She’s a girl who knows how to make fun of herself and I can appreciate that. Her ability to share her personal struggle among the cat jokes and fictional robotic sexscapades (NSFW) is admirable. Even though there are 121 million people internationally who suffer from depression, finding and connecting with successful individuals who have treated their condition is inspiring.

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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