Philosophers have considered the relation between madness and literature since Plato’s Phaedrus. Mental illness has been a favorite topic for great authors throughout literary history just as psychologists and psychiatrists like Sigmund Freud and Karl Jaspers have been interested in and influenced by literature. Pioneers within philosophy, psychiatry and the world of art share the endeavor to explore and explain the human mind and behavior, including what a society deems as being outside perceived normality. This conference seeks to explore intersections between literature and mental health issues. Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to, the following: Representations of… Read More
By Kevin Wolf This fictional graphic novel has the impact and realism of a non-fictional work about bullying, depression and suicide. The back cover indicates this work is Aimée de Jongh’s first graphic novel, though it’s a very mature work. The drawings are beautiful, showing scenes from nature, grade school, and adulthood. The story flows naturally with events surrounding Simon. He’s having trouble closing the multi-generational used bookstore he inherited from his father. The graphic work shows recent and past painful moments that he feels extreme guilt about observing but not preventing. Some scenes Simon lives and some are… Read More
This week sees the publication of two new important papers on Graphic Medicine. Here are direct links to the online papers. The first is published with open access on the excellent Comics Grid website: ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers Authors: Anthony Farthing ,Ernesto Priego Abstract Recent literature suggests that a growing number of comics are being published on health-related topics, including aspects of mental health and social care (Williams 2012; Czerwiec et al 2015) and that comics are increasingly being used in higher education settings as information resources. This article offers insights from comics creators… Read More
Review first published in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 2016 The Bad Doctor: The Troubled Life and Times of Dr. Iwan James is a riveting, debut graphic novel by Ian Williams, a celebrated medical humanist and founder of the Graphic Medicine website. He previously published using the nom de plume Thom Ferrier and contributed a series of comic strips for the Guardian. In The Bad Doctor, inspired by Justin Green’s Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary and by his own experience of the continuing secondary effects of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Ian Williams deftly evokes the world of country GP Dr Iwan James’s deep… Read More
In number XXV of his Introductory Lectures on Psycho-analysis, Sigmund Freud described anxiety as ‘a riddle whose solution would be bound to throw a flood of light on our whole mental existence’. While Terian Koscik’s new autobiographical comic, When Anxiety Attacks, has the more modest ambition of depicting her personal experiences of anxiety, she does succeed in giving an illuminating account of a condition for which she can testify there are no easy answers. The cover’s science-fiction scenario and punning title hint at the humour that underpins the storytelling, but belies the book’s concern with how small, everyday events can… Read More
The final podcast out of the 2013 Brighton Comics & Medicine conference is now available. This episode features Simon Moreton’s talk, “Toward a Different Way of Looking” in which he discusses his work as a comics artist in the context of a community and addressing mental health issues. Simon’s new website is at http://www.smoo-comics.com. He recently completed his new book, Plans We Made. More info here. Use the Quicktime player below to view images along with the audio of this presentation. If you don’t have Quicktime, you can listen to an audio-only version of the keynote presentation below.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS Comics and Mental Health: A special themed edition of Asylum magazine Comics, graphic novels and sequential art are currently receiving critical attention in academic disciplines while enjoying widespread acclaim through popular culture. Many of the most acclaimed comics, and related tie-ins, utilise themes and characters that directly or indirectly touch on mental health in ways that are potentially thoughtful, challenging and provocative but also manipulative, voyeuristic and stereotypical. Key examples are the characters of Delirium and Despair in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, and the Joker in both Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy of films and in the… Read More
Thanks to Andrew Godfrey for flagging up this comic about PTSD. Click on the image to follow the link.
Alex Demetris got in touch recently. He’s working on a comic about Lewy Body Dementia. It looks very interesting and I can’t wait to see more (there is a printed copy in the post to me!). This is what Alex has to say about his project: ‘Having produced numerous cartoons and short comic strips over the past six years, last autumn I decided to enrol on an MA in Illustration at Camberwell College of the Arts in order to explore fully my interest in producing a longer narrative comic. In 2007 my father had been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia,… Read More
Use the Quicktime player above to view images along with the audio. If you don’t have Quicktime, you can listen to the audio-only version below. In this week’s episode, three speakers address mental health and comics. First up is An Nguyen with her paper, My Partner Has Depression: Japanese depictions of illness experiences in the day to day. An Nguyen is a Ph.D. candidate in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Western Ontario. She is currently finishing her dissertation on Japanese youth street fashion subcultures and has an interest in the global flow of media and things and their interpretation across cultures. Describing… Read More