Current television’s role in mass media carries considerable clout when it comes to informing and shaping public perceptions. Characters portrayed on the screen can quickly become stereotypes when certain themes keep repeating from show to show. Unfortunately, this appears to be the case with current television’s depiction of mental illness.
One comic character I have grown to have a lot of respect for is the Martian Manhunter. While usually compared to Superman for their powers I think where the comparisons truly lie is in the topic of immigration. Superman was raised on Earth from infancy, never truly growing up as an alien. J’onn J’onzz meanwhile was born and raised on Mars with a job and was raising a family. In the Silver Age, Mars wasn’t yet a desolate wasteland and J’onn coming to Earth is more akin to going abroad.
A friend once told me, “your greatest strength is your greatest weakness… and conversely, your greatest weakness can also be your greatest strength.” This is a phrase that has stuck with me for decades, ringing true in both personal and professional settings. I myself was labeled a creative person at an early age.
In middle school I had a strong visual aesthetic, producing compelling photographs with just a tiny 110 camera and no training. I later began writing plays, doing documentary photography at a professional level, and eventually writing comics. But it was a long journey to fully embrace my creative side.
Due to societal pressure, I sought a ‘traditional’ office job. During my school years, creativity was not seen as a gift. It was something that was useful to children but not fully embraced by society, and certainly not something that could be marketed and turned into a million or even billion dollar business. Continue reading “Guest Post: Creativity As A Superpower, Creativity As A Curse”
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the greatest comic-based film series and many have been inspired by watching these awesome stories of superheroes – their successes and failures. Every viewer takes something away and is influenced by the heroic examples of these titans and can be encouraged to manifest similar character and valour.
Words and actions of each Avenger sometimes have a profound wisdom to teach everyone who is willing to learn from them. Wisdom that still can be applied in our daily interactions.
So, what are the lessons that audience can learn from these mighty heroes? Lots of them! But let’s discuss the most important things that you can learn and exercise from the MCU: Continue reading “Guest Post: When Heroes Fail: Our Lives In Comparison To The Avengers’ Struggle”
In the modern age, mental health has become as important as physical health. People all over the world are discussing disorders like anxiety and how it can affect everyday life. And with the debate comes a duty to break down stigma so more people feel comfortable talking about their experiences.
Storytelling is an effective way of presenting mental health in a relatable way. Stories inspire us. They introduce us to characters who’ve been through similar situations and have managed to overcome adversity.
Comics are a wonderful medium for mental health positivity. They show readers that even the mightiest of superheroes like Thor and Captain Marvel can be vulnerable. It’s humbling to see such powerful characters be brought down to earth and made to deal with the same problems that humans face on a regular basis.
Seeing a superhero overcome their mental health struggles is inspiring. Readers witness their own journey reflected back at them and it might encourage them to make a positive change in their life.
Various comic book stories have covered issues as heartbreaking as depression and suicide. But by the end of the story, there’s always a ray of hope. After reading one of these stories, you’ll be reminded that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Continue reading “10 Comics That Told Inspiring Mental Health Stories”
The life of a superhero is often dangerous and stressful. In addition to protecting innocents, superheroes have to balance a secret identity with their personal life, so it’s little wonder that the pressure can take a toll on mental health. But some comic characters are able to remain optimistic no matter how bad their circumstances become. Nightwing is a perfect example.
You’d think that partnering with Batman for so many years would have left a dark mark. But Richard Grayson has been able to take everything in his stride. From his earliest years, the original Robin has maintained a positive attitude that’s stayed with him throughout his life.
From a mental health perspective, that’s pretty powerful. So, let’s take a closer look at the life of the original Boy Wonder and see what makes him such a great role model for positive mental health. Continue reading “The Eternal Optimist: Nightwing And The Power Of A Positive Outlook”
I love comics. It’s a passion that has built over the years and become a part of my everyday routine. Whether it’s reading comics, writing about superheroes, or looking forward to a new Marvel film, comics are a powerful source of positivity for me. In a mental health context, comics can infuse wonder and excitement into the mundane, which is part of why I enjoy reading them so much.
Comics massively influenced the life of the late great Bill Schelly. A comic book historian, biographer and long-time lover of fandom, Schelley passed away in September 2019. But his legacy lives on in the pages of his autobiography, Sense of Wonder: My Life In Comic Fandom – The Whole Story.
In his book, Schelley dives into the magic of comics and how they helped to keep him going through times of hardship. From coming out as gay, to tirelessly self-publishing content until he made it as a successful author, Sense of Wonder is the story of a man who never gave up on his dreams. Continue reading “Sense Of Wonder Review: A Love Letter To Fandom And The Mental Health Benefits Of Comics”
Living with a mental health disorder is different for every person. Whether it’s anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder, everyone’s experience is unique to them. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms. As someone who experiences social anxiety, my coping strategies revolve around surrounding myself with pop culture because it’s what I’m passionate about. It’s what makes me happy. It reminds me that there are things worth fighting for.
Comics have played a huge role in improving my mental health. They’ve inspired me so much that I decided to do the worst thing that people with social anxiety can experience: put myself in a room with complete strangers and talk openly. More than that, comics inspired me to take the plunge with my first public presentation at the Doki Doki Festival in Manchester! Continue reading “Overcoming Social Anxiety And Delivering My First Public Presentation On Comics”
Mental health has never been more important than it is now. While many people have become more comfortable with talking about their experiences, there are countless more who are still hesitant to speak out for fear of being judged. When someone takes the time to address mental health, it can be extremely powerful and help to spread more compassion around the subject.
Compassion is a core tenant of being a superhero. And few superheroes are more empathetic than Wonder Woman. Strong, brave and resolute, Diana Prince has all the qualities of a mental health advocate. That’s why she’d made an excellent mental health first aider. Continue reading “Why Wonder Woman Would Be An Amazing Mental Health First Aider”
Mental health is a complex topic that affects people on different levels. While some are happy to talk about their struggles with disorders like anxiety, others continue to suffer in silence for fear of being perceived as weak. Within the world of comics, humans aren’t the only beings to suffer with their mental health. Gods are just as vulnerable, and even the mighty Thor has fallen victim to thoughts of depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.
The God of Thunder’s quest to improve his mental health has been the source of many recent Thor stories. Having lost the ability to wield Mjolnir and then fighting to prove his worthiness again, Thor’s struggles are relatable when filtered through the lens of emotional vulnerability. Continue reading “The God Of Self-Worth: Thor And Depression”