Washington Post's Top 10 Graphic Novels 2012 'An unflinching and frequently unforgiving narrative of what it means to have bipolar disorder' - John Crace, Guardian 'Marbles isn't just a great story; it's proof that artists don't have to be tortured to be brilliant.' - Entertainment Weekly Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Suffering from (but enjoying) extreme mania, and terrified that medication would cause her to lose creativity, she began a long struggle over many years to find mental stability while retaining her creativity. Searching to make sense of the popular idea of the 'crazy artist', she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O'Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to "cure" an otherwise brilliant mind. Darkly funny and intensely personal, Forney's memoir provides a humorous but authentic glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist's work, as she shares her own story through black-and-white graphic images and prose. Written & illustrated by Ellen Forney - best known for her work on National Book Award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
How is madness experienced, treated, and represented? How might art think around – and beyond – psychiatric definitions of illness and wellbeing? Madness, Art, and Society engages with artistic practices from theatre and live art to graphic fiction, charting a multiplicity of ways of thinking critically with, rather than about, non-normative psychological experience. It is organised into two parts: ‘Structures: psychiatrists, institutions, treatments’, illuminates the environments, figures and primary models of psychiatric care, reconsidering their history and contemporary manifestations through case studies including David Edgar’s Mary Barnes and Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. ‘Experiences: realities, bodies, moods’, promblematises diagnostic categories and proposes more radically open models of thinking in relation to experiences of madness, touching upon works such as Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko and Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places, and Things. Reading its case studies as a counter-discourse to orthodox psychiatry, Madness, Art, and Society seeks a more nuanced understanding of the plurality of madness in society, and in so doing, offers an outstanding resource for students and scholars alike.
Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life is the eagerly awaited sequel/ companion book to Forney’s 2012 best-selling graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me. Whereas Marbles was a memoir about her bipolar disorder, Rock Steady turns the focus outward, offering a self-help survival guide of tips, tricks and tools by someone who has been through it all and come through stronger for it.
Performance, Social Construction and the Graphic Narrative draws on performance studies scholarship to understand the social impact of graphic novels and their sociopolitical function. Addressing issues of race, gender, ethnicity, race, war, mental illness, and the environment, the volume encompasses the diversity and variety inherent in the graphic narrative medium. Informed by the scholarship of Dwight Conquergood and his model for performance praxis, this collection of essays makes links between these seemingly disparate areas of study to open new avenues of research for comics and graphic narratives. An international team of authors offer a detailed analysis of new and classical graphic texts from Mexico, India, and Canada as well as the US. Performance, Social Construction and the Graphic Narrative draws on performance studies scholarship to understand the social impact of graphic novels and their sociopolitical function. Addressing issues of race, gender, ethnicity, race, war, mental illness, and the environment, the volume encompasses the diversity and variety inherent in the graphic narrative medium. This book will be of interest to students and scholars in the areas of communication, literature, comics studies, performance studies, sociology, languages, English, and gender studies, and anyone with an interest in deepening their acquaintance with and understanding of the potential of graphic narratives.
As there has yet to be any substantial scrutiny of the complex confluences a more sustained dialogue between disability studies and comics studies might suggest, Disability in Comic Books and Graphic Narratives aims through its broad range of approaches and focus points to explore this exciting subject in productive and provocative ways.
"On Loving Women is in turns wistful, sexy, goofy, bittersweet, frank, and adorable. Diane Obomsawin’s deceptively simple lifework and straightforward writing style capture the breathless sweetness of holding another girl’s hand for the first time, and the happy, lusty intimacy of a virginity-ending, drunken threesome. Delightful."—Ellen Forney, author of Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me Intimate vignettes of women coming out On Loving Women is a new collection of stories about coming out, first love, and sexual identity by the animator Diane Obomsawin. With this work, Obomsawin brings her gaze to bear on subjects closer to home—her friends’ and lovers’ personal accounts of realizing they’re gay or first finding love with another woman. Each story is a master class in reaching the emotional truth of a situation with the simplest means possible. Her stripped-down pages use the bare minimum of linework to expressively reveal heartbreak, joy, irritation, and fear. On Loving Women focuses primarily on adolescence—crushes on high school teachers, awkwardness on first dates—but also addresses much deeper-seated difficulties of being out: fears of rejection and of not being who others want one to be. Within these pages, Obomsawin has forged a poignant, powerful narrative that speaks to the difficulties of coming out and the joys of being loved. Her first English-language work, Kaspar—a retelling of the life of Kaspar Hauser, the mysterious German youth who was raised in isolation and murdered just a few years after emerging from his imprisonment—was critically lauded for its simple but expressive storytelling, and for the way it portrayed traumatic material compassionately but without self-indulgenc
From Plato, who originated the idea of inspired mania, to Beethoven, Dickens, Newton, Van Gogh, and today's popular creative artists and scientists who've battled manic depression, this intriguing work examines creativity and madness in mystery, myth, and history.