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.


  1. there is no contact info provided in the zines but i have sharon's email address n cld send it to u