Chris Browning’s newest book looks to shine some light on the impact depression (combined with his Aspergers) has on his daily life.
Small Press/Indie comics have become an amazing source of stories that steer clear of the superhero saturated mainstream and in among comics that cover a broad range of themes are titles that challenge some of the biggest topics out there. Grey Fug is just such a title as mental health takes centre stage and while others may choose to take the edge off with some humour that’s not exactly the route Chris chooses to take.
Instead he pulls together a series of images that sum up his feelings about pretty much everything around him while he is working through those darker times and while it seems his two cats are his own silent counsellors he manages to capture the weight of doubt that depression brings. That being said he manages to build the idea that improvement is just around the corner and with the art style having an experimental vibe to it there’s a layer of honesty to it as he lays out his thoughts & feelings for all to see.
This ends up feeling like a deeply personal book to Chris but if you’ve ever suffered from depression or if you know someone who does (lets face it who hasn’t) then every page of this will resonate with you in some way. Bleak in places but with a subtle sense of hopefulness it ends up weaving you through the lows towards the conclusion that there is life outside those debilitating days when you feel the world is against you at every step.
Brutally honest in its execution with a strangely reassuring & bittersweet edge to it, Grey Fug ends up being a comic that has the ability to generate understanding & empathy with anyone who suffers through that dark cloud on a regular basis. It becomes infinitely more complex with the addition of Aspergers but the positive progress by the end is a powerful message to get across. Amazing job Chris.
Catch-up with more on Grey Fug and Chris’ other work over on The Common Swings Blog or Facebook Page where you can also find out how to order the book. You can also catch-up with him at this years Thought Bubble event next month too.