Author: Matt Barrell
Publish Date: 2018
Publisher: Menard Press
Where to buy: https://inpressbooks.co.uk/products/nightmare-scenarios
Author website: http://mattbarrell.co.uk/
Additional info: Available in the US from SPD Books - see link at bottom of post.
Guest review by Eric Hoffman
Matt Barrell is a London-based comic book artist with schizophrenia. In his short but powerful comic, Nightmare Scenarios, he provides twenty-four one panel-per-page depictions of the inner life of Londoners suffering from mental illness. There are no word balloons; the primitive yet effective illustrations, accompanied by first-person captions, provide a claustrophobic firsthand depiction of the disconnectedness of mental illness, of being trapped inside one’s own head, and the confusion and difficulty of interacting with a society which one is a part of, yet also apart from. Each page of Barrell’s comic presents a single frozen moment in time, ranging from the commonplace to the bizarre, and depicts a character’s inability to move out from or break free of their various mental prisons. This is a work of dread, yet ultimately of hope. There is despair, but also hints of salvation, and transcendence. Precise, enlightening, and compelling.
Nightmare Scenarios is available in the US from SPD Books