Six or seven years ago, a very dear friend of mine went through a particularly dark depression. I didn't know what to do or how to help. So I wrote her a book with pictures about my experiences with depression and gave it to her as a gift. The thing was, that when I looked at my own self and my own depression, it was funny. It was very sad, but it was also very funny. I went through the symptoms and the causes and the experiences that were bona fide characteristics of not just my depression, but also that of people I had known my whole life. I didn't want to write a public service announcement, so I chose to do a graphic novel using my own scratchy (but sincere) drawings. I gave the book to my friend and she loved it. Later, when she was doing better, she suggested that I try to get it published.
I submitted it to some publishers and was lucky enough to have Hyperion Books offer to publish it. They helped guide me to make the smooth, but rough-edged accounting of the journey that is depression. Not just my experience, but the experience of others as well. The book was well received and people felt that it represented the experience of depression for them too. And then we thought if this was as universal as it seemed, perhaps we should do a short film based on the book.
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