Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Review: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me by Ellen Forney (28 Days of Reviews #5)

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me by Ellen Forney
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me
Release Date
: November 6th 2012
Publisher: Gotham
: 256
Genre: Adult - Non Fiction, Graphic Novel, Mental Health
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Cartoonist Ellen Forney explores the relationship between “crazy” and “creative” in this graphic memoir of her bipolar disorder, woven with stories of famous bipolar artists and writers.

Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic and terrified that medications would cause her to lose creativity, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability while retaining her passions and creativity.

Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the crazy artist, she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to “cure” an otherwise brilliant mind.

Darkly funny and intensely personal, Forney’s memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist’s work, as she shares her own story through bold black-and-white images and evocative prose.

 This is a graphic memoir written my Ellen Forney about her life with bipolar disorder. In this book she show her ups and downs, her troubles with finding the right prescriptions, and her fear of losing her creativity. This book really shows what life is like for a person with bipolar disorder. The book is very thorough with what she is feeling. There are some funny parts, sad parts, and just really all over the place. It is a really really good book. This is coming from a person that doesn’t read memoirs.

This is definitely an adult novel so keep that in mind. There are a few different scenes with drug use, nudity, and just sex talk in general. Other than that it mostly just shows how her emotions are all over the place. She has the banter between her and her psychologist, who isn’t very friendly by the way, and her obsession with crazy artists. Ellen is terrified that if she takes medication that she will no longer be creative. It takes her a long time to figure out that she can still be an artist while taking meds.

The artwork was my favorite part in the entire book. It is fantastic. Because there are a lot of up and down periods the drawing is all over the place at some times. There are some graphics that take up two entire pages. There are also pages that look like pages torn out of her journal or sketchbooks of drawings that she has done. It is just simple black and white throughout but I think that is perfect for the book.

I really recommend picking this book up for multiple reasons. If you are suffering from bipolar disorder or something similar then I think this would be a good motivational read for you to see that everything can work out in the end. If you are into memoirs then I can’t recommend this one enough. Also, just if you like graphic novels in general. I totally bought this book based on the cover and I am super glad that I did.

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