As Mental Health Awareness week comes to an end it’s almost fitting that I take a long overdue look at The Mind of James Svengal from the minds of Lyndon White and Jordan Sam Adams
The story follows James as his battle with PTSD following a car accident is really starting to take his toll. He was driving and the woman he knocked down is still in a coma and his attempts to retain some sense of normalcy in his every day life & relationships sees the challenges come thick and fast.
His work as an artist suffers, his relationship with his fiance suffers and his mind feels like it’s ready to crack as he tries to juggle all his emotions at the same time. The story walks a tight-rope of emotions as his engagement gets closer to ending, his behaviour becomes erratic and his self-medication with experimental drugs brings his subconscious to the surface in a way that forces him to face his fears head-on.
Lyndon & Jordan have a great affinity with their central character and this book has a real honesty about its approach to mental illness which stems from the creators own experiences. James feels like your average guy dealing with his PTSD as best as he can and the they take him to the brink before he finds himself and the clarity he needs to nurse his own mind. The art from Lyndon helps capture a strong parallel between the real world & the dream-like world that ends up feeding the revelations he needs and out of that cloudy haze comes the solutions he’s been searching for.
The book ends up feeling like a true account of how PTSD can become an all-encompassing wave that takes over the minutes, hours & days of someone’s life without any outside forces. Driven by the support he has around him, James finds a reason to keep fighting and the creators make sure that the road has been tough enough to make sure those lessons are a tangible force for good. In the end, this becomes a hopeful book about surviving situations through a mess of coping mechanisms, while the world built around James and his subconscious punctuates the good & bad elements that exist in us all. Heartfelt, thoughtful and engaging from the very first page to the closing surprises.