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Karen said, more or less, “I want to make comics.”

Karen, Guan and I used to meet up to write far more regularly than we do now (well they still meet almost weekly, but I only dip in from time to time).  As well as writing, we use each other as a sounding board, we talk about all sorts of crazy things and egg each other on to ever higher realms of creativity.  We call ourselves, somewhat tongue-in-cheekingly, the Hive Mind.

So when Karen said she wanted to make comics, we thought it sounded like a great idea.  And as the Hive Mind knows, when Karen has a great idea, it’s worth jumping on board because Things Start Happening.

Before we knew it, we were signed on to the Plan to Take Over the World, which involved pulling together an anthology of 5-page comics on the topic of depression.  As you know, I have had a long association with the black dog, as have K and G, so the topic really resonated from the outset.  As well as that, we all love comics.  And making things.  And collaborating.  So much resonance.

(You can read all about this from K’s point of view at her blog)

After months of work from a bunch of writers and artists, and untold hours of slaving over a hot laptop by Karen to try and corral us all into some semblance of a team, we have a finished product.  We call it Kinds of Blue.

We are so proud of it!

I wrote one and illustrated one of the stories (Eating the Blues), and also illustrated one of Guan’s stories (Labyrinthine).  I also did the layout of the whole book.

It has taken me a lot of time to get to a point where I’m happy with my work in this, mainly because I kept comparing it to all the other contributions!  There are some stunningly talented artists on board, with a wonderful variety of styles.  I think that’s one of the things I love most about the book, is how the angle on depression every story takes is completely different, and also looks completely different.  But today, I think I reached a milestone, or a watershed, or whatever they call those moments.  While I was flipping through the drawings onscreen, I realised I actually do like my work.  It has its own style, and its own things to say.

Anyway, the huge news is that we are trying to raise funds to publish it ourselves.  We went live with the campaign yesterday at midday and the response has been unbelievable.  At the time of writing, we have already raised 55% of the money we need to print the book and launch it.  I’ve been so touched by the response, especially on Facebook, with heaps of people liking the book – and not just clicking ‘like’ but actually saying what they like about it.  Many people can already see that this book will be a useful resource for them to talk about the topic of depression, or even just to understand better what it’s like.  It can be a bit hard to read at times, especially if you’ve ever struggled with depression yourself, but I like to think that although there is necessary darkness, there is also light.

Intrigued?  Want to get on board?  Read it. Like our page on Facebook and tell other people about it. Check out our page on Pozible for more info on how to pledge. You can pledge any amount you like, though upwards of $30 will also get you a copy of the book sent to you when it’s released.

And then, oh man, we are going to party.