During 2013 and 2014, I’m working on One of Those People – a graphic novel about dependence, based on interviews with people with addictions to anti-depressants. The book is a collaboration with correspondents in the USA, and is about life before, life during and life after addiction. This is the first time I’ve worked in this sort of a collaborative project, which brings its own fair share of ups and downs.
I’m giving a paper entitled Those People, That Problem: The ethical journey of a collaborative comic on dependence about some of the ethical issues thrown up by the collaborative process at this year’s Comics & Medicine Conference in Brighton, July 4-7th. I’ll have a table in the exhibition/marketplace hall where I’ll be selling copies of Something Different About Dad, as well as Doing Something Different and Drawing Something Different – small-press books about the “making of” the book. I’ll also be selling copies of One of Those People: Zero – a small collection of pages in progress from the collaborative comic, plus a range of cool badges!
In June, 2011, I presented a paper entitled Drawing Different: Creating comics about Aspgerger Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders at the 2011 Comics and Medicine Conference in Chicago. The paper drew on my experiences illustrating Something Different About Dad.
My first graphic novel was Something Different About Dad, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in December, 2010. It’s a comic book about Asperger Syndrome, illustrated by myself and co-written with Kirsti Evans, an autism specialist from Shropshire. The book deals with the experience of Asperger Syndrome in adults, and the way it impacts on children within the family.
“This book takes a positive and honest look at the way in which Asperger Syndrome can affect a family, and reassures young people whose Dad or Mom is different… This touching and realistic narrative is a must for all families with an AS parent.”
Handicap Info (Vol. 26, No.1)
“The stories are realistic and the suggestions of how one might deal with situations that arise are helpful… This is an important book for children with an AS parent and will help them feel that they are not alone in coping with unusual behaviour.”
“… presented in a casual comic book style [which] has a comfortable air about it… familiar and accessible…. A well thought-out, wonderfully illustrated book which has broken new ground – an exciting new trend; hope it becomes a series…”
“… very accessible, quick and easy to read, covering and reinforcin
g a lot of information without feeling repetitive… This book is great for children over seven who have a parent on the spectrum and would be a useful book for school libraries and psychologists to keep as well.”
“… should be given to teachers of all grade levels (to help them understand both their students and the parents), to human-resources directors at corporations (to help them understand their employees), to psychologists, to social workers, to – heck – to anybody…”