Friday, June 17, 2016
Demons of the Midwest #1 and #2
These zines by Sharon Gissy are autobiographical comix about divorce, depression, time in the psych ward, mania, more depression, and relationships.
I like both issues, but I think I liked the first one best. I could relate to the topic of divorce and how painful it can be because I was divorced several years ago and remember it all too well. Sharon's feelings mirror my own, though the details are different--she gets it just right.
Also, mental health zines are my thing--I was originally diagnosed with bipolar disorder about ten years ago and my diagnosis was later changed to schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type.
Something I like about the first issue is the looseness. It jumps around a little. There's stuff about the divorce, then all of a sudden we're in the hospital, then we're out of the hospital again. Sharon doesn't over-explain. I appreciate the way I felt slightly off-kilter.
I found the second issue pretty triggering. It made me think back on my first and only full-blown manic episode in all of its cringeworthy destructiveness. As I read about Sharon's mania, I felt manic. Then as I read about Sharon's depressive crash, I felt depressed too.
I don't think this is a problem with the zine--it's a problem with me. But if you're prone to over-empathizing like I am, you might want to be careful while reading issue two.
But it's worth it. These two zines are accurate, complex, worthwhile, and mostly enjoyable to read. I liked them.
On the back, Sharon thanks Lynda Barry, a famous comix maker who I love. I can see the influence.
I feel inspired by these zines like maybe I could make comix too. It's a good feeling.