We live in turbulent times. Graphic Medicine’s Drawing Together meetups, at first weekly and now monthly, have been a helpful community of practice as we navigate these waters. The following comic started as a rough, raw journal entry and a one-page comic at one of those meetups.
Thank you for creating such a powerful space. Many thanks to critiquers and sensitivity readers. Creating this comic was hard, fulfilling and I wish such vivid examples did not come from too many cruel, personal stories. I hope it adds to the conversation, I hope you share it or use it as ammunition the inevitable next time mental health is used as a scapegoat or diminishing of a person.
We desperately need to have better conversations about mental health.
If you’ve heard of me as a creator before this, there’s a chance it might be for my strange short stories or roleplaying games, but it’s most likely because of my webcomic thingswithout.com and one particular comic, A Sad. https://www.thingswithout.com/comic/311-a-sad/
This comic started in 2012, as part of the Clarion Write-a-Thon and I’ve been creating it ever since. They’ve been a nugget of joy, at times a life raft to hold on to… and at times a crutch.
The Things are an all ages comic, and that is an important principle to maintain and protect. I’ve heard wonderful stories about how it’s helped people learn how to read, challenge gender assumptions, articulate emotional needs, and be there for people. It’s also meant as an artist and creator I had a cosy place to hide in and to only challenge myself in certain ways.
Early this year, just before Covid-19 hit, I knew I needed to create other, more difficult stories, in addition to the Things. I knew I needed to reach out, and stretch out, and then much of the world shut down (or needed to shut down).
Fortunately, Graphic Medicine’s Drawing Together meetups, at first weekly and now monthly, came at just the right time. They have been so helpful as a place to connect, share, and be challenged.
And you can support my work AND get updates, patron exclusive sketches and other fun stuff at https://www.patreon.com/lizargall