Mental Health in Comics, Recommended Books list, and follow up to our UMD College of Information Studies visit.

We had another great visit with Professor Ching’s evening class in Children’s Literature and Materials at the University of Maryland’s graduate College of Information Studies.   We tend to haul a few boxes of books up there to show examples of great books, but spend more time discussing the history and relevance of comics.  I always enjoy the back and forth with the students that follows since its fun to talk comics with bright and interested people.

Here I’m circling back to follow-up on a few questions raised or books we discussed, as well as to offer resources helping you find other great books we recommend, especially those in our collection.

As promised our Recommended Graphic Novel List is available as a Google doc that we periodically edit to add more titles that make it into our various collections.

You will also find more recent reviews on here of course, and on the Takoma Park Maryland Library’s Comics Page.

After the jump (and in following blog entries) I’ll suggest books that relate to some of the topics we discussed, starting with 3 books on mental illness.

Mental Health in Comics

On whether there are any graphic works about mental health issues, here are a few notable titles that we have in our collection:

Marbles:  Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me.  By Ellen Forney
(Gotham Books 2012)
A graphic memoir of a woman’s struggle with bi-polar disorder, therapy, and the chemical maintenance of mood and personality.  Black and white art, chiefly ink and brush cartooning. Funny, bright, friendly, open and honest.  Excerpts from her journal and sketchbook give additional insight to her state of mind during her long process of coping recuperation and analysis.
Adult: Nudity, drug use, bi-sexuality.
(741.5973 FORNEY)

How I Made it to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story.  By Tracy White
(Roaring Brook Press 2010)
previously reviewed here.
Young Adult:  Suicide attempts, bulimia, adult themes.
(J YA 741.5973 WHITE)

Psychiatric Tales:  Eleven Graphic Stories About Mental Illness.  By Darryl Cunningham.
(Bloomsbury 2010)
Darryl Cunningham worked for many years as a nurse in a hospital’s acute psychiatric ward.  Here he inks a few short pages on a each of a half dozen diagnoses (dementia, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and others) discussing each  with compassion and discernment.  Artwork is black and white ink work with simple sparse icons for people, and an emphasis on composition.
(741.5973 CUNNING)

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