Depression! Who’s got it? Let’s see, show of hands… yep, that’s pretty much everybody, so some extent at least. This is an occasionally dream-like comic about Mohar’s troubles with depression, or possibly a fictional tale of depression and how to handle it. I’m assuming it’s based on real life because of how pieces of it so perfectly mirror the depressed mindset that I don’t see another way to get it down on paper so accurately. For example, there’s a page that’s only Mohar’s attempt to respond to a text message about a party that’s just devastating. First he starts to ask what he can bring, deletes it, starts to say that he can’t make it, deletes THAT, and finally texts that he’ll be there. Anybody who’s ever wondered if they can face the outside world for another day can relate to that roller coaster. Things start off here with Mohar being “fired” by his therapist. He suggests group therapy, but Mohar is already down the depression hole after hearing this news. He portrays this as literally melting down, with the slightest disruption (in this case seeing a gecko in his fridge) enough to send him spiraling. He sees moments of real beauty in his quest to live in the world, and these are enough to sustain him here and there. But then a genuine tragedy occurs in front of him and he does nothing to stop it, which crushes any progress he’s made. Is he able to turn it around? Does he live happily ever after? Well, no. That’s not how depression works. But you’ll have to read it for yourself to see how he deals with it. Obviously I liked it, and if you’ve ever been depressed you’ll find something familiar here.
Sometimes I receive books from people who say they’re just starting out in comics, and in those cases I really try to put my professional reviewer’s hat on (whatever that means), to get ready to get picky about little errors or basic things that the artist could do to improve. When I do this I try to make it clear that despite the number of comics I’ve read in my life, I’m still just some guy, and the opinion of people like me should never dissuade anybody from making comics. That being said… this comic was pretty great. The pacing, the story, the interplay of sound effects with the action, I don’t have a negative thing to say about any of it. I guess I wish he would have put up a link on his website where people could buy a physical copy of this comic, but maybe that’s just me showing my age, as he has it up for free if you’re curious. This is the story of Mohar going to his first concert (I learned this for sure on his website). First he has to motivate himself to attend, as going to any concert is a big hassle. Once he gets there he’s supposed to meet up with a friend, but his friend got there early and had made his way to the front. Mohar, however, as you can see from the sample image, had quite a journey ahead of him to meet his friend. I loved the descriptions of the different sections of the crowd (familiar to anybody who’s been to a big show), the wise old concert-goer who offered to help, the rage when people realized he wasn’t dancing… lots of great little touches in here. Overall I’d recommend this book to anybody who’s ever had to navigate a big concert crown. As far as any practical advice I might have? Keep doing what you’re doing, try to get in some diverse life experiences so you have interesting stories to tell, and you’ll be just fine.