Finding One's Marbles
I’m late to the party on this one, but Marbles is a wonder of a graphic novel. Ellen Forney is bipolar and her words and pictures memoir of her mania and depression — and the roller coaster of incidents, doubts, certainties, treatments, fears and purpose — make her world vibrant and real, a place you want to spend time in, worry over and root for. Her art style is thoroughly engaging, cartoony but at the same time completely delivering on a wide range of emotion and situation — from solid fact to surreal fantasy and frustration. This is the high promise of graphic medicine — stories about health delivered by way of comic book storytelling. Patients, doctors, marketers — there’s a gold mine of opportunity in this format and its many artistic representations to inform and express and learn. Or just turn the pages, follow the panels, and take it in as a reader, to lose yourself in Ms. Forney’s interpretation of her conjoined “craziness” and creativity — a grand realization of the potential of a shared story.