Ever since I started The Comic Vault, I’ve been consistently blown away by the amount of people who’ve come back to read my articles and given me a reason to indulge my inner geek. Each time I’ve reached a new milestone it’s been something that’s kept me motivate and I’m happy to say I’ve hit another goal of 900 followers. For people who’ve been reading the website for a while you’ll have noticed I like to connect comics and mental health together. As it feels like I’m running out of ways to say thank you, I figured I’d take the opportunity to shine a light on bloggers who promote mental health.
In the modern day, mental health is an important issue, with people becoming more comfortable talking about it. But there are many who still struggling with their disorders or feel afraid to talk about it for fear of being judged. This feeling is common among young men, which is why The Comic Vault advocates mental health positivity. A male character who reflects feelings of inadequacy and guilt is Speedball. His struggle to overcome his mental health issues is a poignant journey that deserves to be looked at it more detail.
What I enjoy about independent comics is the amount of freedom writers have to explore different genres or bring them together. History and fantasy are two of my favourite subjects, so any story that combines them gives me something to invest in. It’s why I was interested in reading Donnie Souza’s Untold #1, which is set in a World War 2 era world where humans, elves and other fantastical creatures are fighting side by side. Untold deals with themes of patriotism, post-traumatic stress disorder, racism and what it means to come home after a long time fighting. Souza sent a copy of Untold #1 to The Comic Vault in exchange for an honest review.
When it comes to comic superheroines, fans are familiar with well-known characters like Wonder Woman and Black Widow because they’ve been part of popular stories. Yet there are so many other wonderful female characters out there to discover and one of the most underrated is Snowbird. A member of the Canadian superhero team, Alpha Flight, Snowbird is a Inuit goddess with shapeshifting abilities and an interesting backstory.
The Scarlet Witch is a character who’s always seemed to be defined by the people around her, such as the Avengers or her brother, Quicksilver. It wasn’t until she received a solo series that readers were able to see her develop and grow. Scarlet Witch Vol 2: World Of Witchcraft, written by James Robinson, follows Wanda as she tries to fix broken magic. But every time she uses a spell, it takes years off her life and saps her strength. Along the way, Wanda tries to come to terms with her own mental health issues, which adds another layer to the graphic novel.
Looking after your mental health is crucial, but we can all suffer difficulties at time. Depression, anxiety and low self-esteem can be symptoms of an image-obsessed society. Some people might feel as if they’ll be stigmatised if they talk about their mental health issues. But superheroes struggle with their mental health too, and perhaps the greatest example of that is with Dr Hank Pym. As a founding Avenger, Pym is meant to stand for the classic ideals of heroism. But his mental health issues have made him as fallible as any of us, which is why he’s a good role model for people who have disorders.
In recent years, mental health issues have become a big talking point in the media and society. Despite the increased exposure, there’s still a stigma attached to it. Many people feel uncomfortable to discuss their illnesses, whether it’s anxiety or depression for fear of being ostracised. Psychosis is another issue that’s rarely talked about because of the negative associations. So, when a video game comes along that tackles psychosis and mental health in a mature, thoughtful way, the creators should be applauded. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a game that isn’t afraid to bring these real problems to the surface.