cover image Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me

Ellen Forney. Gotham, $20 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-59240-732-3

Eisner nominee Forney confesses her struggles with being diagnosed as bipolar in this witty and insightful memoir. Beginning with the manic episode that led to her diagnosis, Forney chronicles her journey toward reconciling the dual natures of bipolar disorder: a dangerous disease, but also a source of inspiration for many artists. The long journey of medication and therapy is kept from gloom by Forney’s lively, likable cartooning. Alternating among her cartoonish panels, realistic illustrations, and photographs of the sketch pad she kept as part of her therapy, Forney allows her art to chronicle her outer life while revealing her inner state of mind. Her personal journey provides a core story that examines her mood disorders and their connection to creativity for the many “crazy artists” she imagines as part of “Club van Gogh.” Readers struggling with their own mania or depression will find Forney good company, and others searching for insight into the minds of troubled artists will find Forney an engaging storyteller. (Nov.)