May is Mental Health Awareness Month
In this list we have curated a selection of graphic novels on this topic.
Our book club pick for May is, "Out of the Woods: A Journey Through Depression and Anxiety".
Please check back throughout May as we add more wonderful books to the list.
Steve Haines and Sophie Standing£7.99
What is trauma? How does it change the way our brains work? And how can we overcome it? When something traumatic happens to us, we dissociate and our bodies shut down their normal processes. This unique comic explains the strange nature of trauma and how it confuses the brain and affects the body. With wonderful artwork, cat and mouse metaphors, essential scientific facts, and a healthy dose of wit, the narrator reveals how trauma resolution involves changing the body's physiology and describes techniques that can achieve this, including Trauma Releasing Exercises that allow the body to shake away tension, safely releasing deep muscular patterns of stress and trauma.
Lize Meddings£10.99 £10.22
For all ages. Ever felt anxious or alone? Like you don't belong anywhere? Like you're almost... invisible? Find your kindred spirits at The Sad Ghost Club. (You are not alone. Shhh. Pass it on.) This is the story of one of those days - a day so bad you can barely get out of bed, when it's a struggle to leave the house, and when you do, you wish you hadn't. But even the worst of days can surprise you. When one sad ghost, alone at a crowded party, spies another sad ghost across the room, they decide to leave together. What happens next changes everything. Because that night they start the The Sad Ghost Club - a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don't belong.
Steve Haines and Sophie Standing£9.99
Why can't we tickle ourselves? How can slow touch convey more powerful emotions than fast touch? How does touch shape our perception of the world? The latest addition to the Really Strange series, this science-based graphic comic addresses these questions and more, revealing the complexity of touch and exploring its power and limits. Used positively, touch can change pain and trauma, communicate compassion and love and generate social bonding. Get it wrong and it can be abusive and terrifying. Touch helps us feel real. Knowledge comes through our body as we engage with space and with others. Before we have language, our concepts are formed as we meet a world full of edges and textures . Touch is Really Strange celebrates the power of inward touch (interoception) and looks at how we can use skilful contact to promote feelings of joy, connection and vitality.
Brent Williams£19.95 £18.55
Out of the Woods is a graphic memoir for people suffering from depression and anxiety. Combining a personal story, the latest medical research and proven self-help strategies, the book offers a unique insight into these illnesses. Written with a keen understanding of what people are going through, Out of the Woods gently guides people through the difficulties and into the processes that will help them get well. This is a deeply personal, yet responsible book, that speaks to sufferers and their families in a way no other book on depression and anxiety has before.
Mai K. Nguyen£11.99 £11.15
For all ages. A heartwarming story of friendship, loss, and finding your way home from debut author/illustrator Mai K. Nguyen! Willow loves the woods near her house. They’re calm and quiet, so different from her own turbulent emotions, which she keeps locked away. When her emotions get the better of her one day, she decides to run away into the woods. There, she meets Pilu, a lost tree spirit who can’t find her way back home—which turns out to be the magnolia grove Willow’s mom used to take her to. Willow offers to help Pilu, and the two quickly become friends. But the journey is long, and Pilu isn’t sure she’s ready to return home yet—which infuriates Willow, who’s determined to make up for her own mistakes by getting Pilu back safely. As a storm rages and Willow’s emotions bubble to the surface, they suddenly take on a physical form, putting both girls in danger… and forcing Willow to confront her inner feelings once and for all.
Raina Telgemeier£9.99 £9.29
For all ages. Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it's probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she's dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina's tummy trouble isn't going away... and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What's going on? Raina Telgemeier once again brings us a thoughtful, charming, and funny true story about growing up and gathering the courage to face -- and conquer -- her fears.
Ruby Elliot£12.99 £12.08
If you've ever looked around and thought, 'What is going on? Who am I? When is it dinner?', or maybe you haven't found a way to explain why you are currently melting into a puddle of your sadness, or if you just want to see a shark called Dave I drew this one time, then this book, filled with drawings about all the terrible and strange and hilarious things life can do at you, will almost certainly be something you'll probably enjoy.
From former Buzzfeed illustrator and current Instagram sensation Adam Ellis comes a collection of autobiographical comics that follows a year in the artist's life. Adam's comics deal with weightier topics like seasonal affective disorder and struggles with self-esteem, while also touching on the silly and absurd-like his brief, but intense obsession with crystals. With a bright, positive outlook and a sense of humor, Super Chill tells a story that is both highly relatable and intensely personal.
Teresa Wong£15.99 £14.87
In this intimate and moving graphic memoir, Teresa Wong writes and illustrates the story of her struggle with postpartum depression in the form of a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Equal parts heartbreaking and funny, Dear Scarlet perfectly captures the quiet desperation of those suffering from PPD and the profound feelings of inadequacy and loss. As Teresa grapples with her fears and anxieties and grasps at potential remedies, coping mechanisms, and her mother’s Chinese elixirs, we come to understand one woman's battle against the cruel dynamics of postpartum depression.
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
Alexandra Brosh£11.99 £11.15
Hyperbole and A Half is a blog and webcomic written by a 20-something American girl called Allie Brosh. She tells fantastically funny , wise stories about the mishaps of her everyday life , with titles like 'Why Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving' and 'The God of Cake'..
Katie Green£25.00 £23.25
Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She'd sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she'd have to eat it for breakfast. But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly. Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the vulnerable, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.
Gemma Correll£8.99 £8.36
If you're floundering in life, striking out in love, struggling to pay the rent, and worried about it all -- you're in luck! World Champion Worrier and Expert Insomniac Gemma Correll is here to assure you that it could be much, much worse. In her hugely popular comic drawings, Gemma Correll dispenses dubious advice and unreliable information on life as she sees it, including The Dystopian Zodiac, Reward Stickers for Grown-Ups, Palm Reading for Millennials, and a Map of the Introvert's Heart. For all you fellow agonizers, fretters, and nervous wrecks, this book is for you. Read it and weep...with laughter
Noelle Stevenson£16.98 £15.79
In a collection of essays and personal mini-comics that span eight years of her young adult life, author-illustrator Noelle Stevenson charts the highs and lows of being a creative human in the world. Whether it's hearing the wrong name called at her art school graduation ceremony or becoming a National Book Award finalist for her debut graphic novel, Nimona , Noelle captures the little and big moments that make up a real life, with a wit, wisdom, and vulnerability that are all her own.
Ellen Forney£13.99 £13.01
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.
Chuck Mullin£9.99 £9.29
When Chuck Mullin began to suffer from anxiety and depression aged seventeen, she turned to drawing comics as a way to make sense of her experience. She soon found that pigeons were the perfect subjects through which to explore the complexities of living with mental illness, and several years later, her funny, quirky birds have won legions of fans online.
Tyler Feder£14.99 £13.94
From before her mother's first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing--but also often funny--details. She shares the important post-death firsts, such as celebrating holidays without her mom, the utter despair of cleaning out her mom's closet, ending old traditions and starting new ones, and the sting of having the "I've got to tell Mom about this" instinct and not being able to act on it. This memoir, bracingly candid and sweetly humorous, is for anyone struggling with loss who just wants someone to get it.
Lucy Sullivan£16.98 £15.79
Alix Otto is having a very bad day. Easily her worst so far. A year since they fished her friend's body from the river, she finds herself hounded, haunted and driven to the brink. Caught in a situation she can't explain, Alix is handed over to the professionals and sectioned, left alone in a labyrinthine system with her delusions running wild... Barking is a tale of grief, madness and the ghosts that haunt us.
Aurora Cacciapuoti£11.99 £11.15
For All Ages A touching story of friendship, discovery, and overcoming your fears Ami is afraid of absolutely everything, but when she meets a creature who needs her help, she puts her fears behind her to make her new friend feel better! The more she does, the more she realizes what she has been missing until she is no longer afraid. Then she meets a new creature . . .