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Book Review: Marbles:mania, depression, Michelangelo, & me : a graphic memoir by Ellen Forney

Marbles : mania, depression, Michelangelo, & me : a graphic memoir

I like Ellen Forney’s comics.

(I think I first saw her work in some anthology when I was a teenager, before I even really knew that comics existed beyond the sunday funnies and Superman– and that WOMEN CAN WRITE THEM)

Marbles is a memoir about getting diagnosed as bipolar and dealing with it. It’s quite good. It’s arranged into an engaging story that you don’t want to put down. Even when your laundry load’s up 3 blocks away at the laundromat and you know that if you don’t get  your ass off the couch soon to go and get it that one guy who sleeps there might start going through your stopped dryer and claim that perfect hoodie that you found on the corner of 8th ave and California st the other day for himself– it was still hard to pull myself away.

There are lots of dimensions to the book: Forney talks about her early skepticism of the diagnosis, the lengthy process of finding meds that aren’t awful, “coming out” at bipolar to other people… She also clearly did a nice chunk of research on famous bipolar artists and writers and weaves that into the story. She does a solid job of combining dark, raw moments with hilarious moments– at times it feels diary-like, like you accidentally found it while you were creeping through her bedroom…


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