Hardcore Anxiety: A Graphic Guide to Punk Rock and Mental Health.
Reid Chancellor. Microcosm, $14.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-62106-767-2
A throwback to alternative comics of the 1990s, this self-conscious autobiographical narrative positions Chancellor’s depression as a lens to examine how punk rock bands used their music to express their own members’ mental health struggles. Reid is looking for a place to belong in the early 2000s, but even as he becomes entrenched in the hardcore punk scene, he feels like an imposter. Reid’s desperate need to fit in is not definitively unpacked; he reveals that he “was dealing with a lot of self esteem issues,” and, as he gets older, reports his disordered mood “was beginning to take over” as he descends into self-harm. Profiles of bands, including Black Flag, the Clash, and the Ramones, are interspersed into his story but lack organization. Punk’s do-it-yourself ethos is fully realized in the black-and-white art, which has a rough immediacy but sometimes sinks into sloppiness. The subtitle is perhaps misleading; this very personal work is not a “guide” so much as a raw, intimate glimpse into one punk fan’s troubled mind. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2019