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I’m pretty excited to share this guest post with you from SICBA Award Winner John Lees, a writer from Glasgow.

He was undertaking the free MOOC (online course) called Gender Through Comic Books (which I started but gave up due to not being able to give it the time it needed), and one of the tasks was to make your own comic strip. Here’s what John says about it:

“The big assignment for the course was to create your own comic about your experiences with gender.  I was stumped on what to do for the longest time.  What had happened in my life regarding my experiences with my straight-white-male gender that would be noteworthy enough to make a comic out of?  My longtime enjoyment of TV seriesDesperate Housewives?  In the end, I ended up cheating a bit by writing something that may not quite have actually happened to me, but hopefully speaks to my experience with masculinity and the stereotypes and conventions that come with it.  As ever, apologies for the ropey art!”

I really like the art!

Page 1 of John Lees comic Page 2 of John Lees comic Page 3 of John Lees comic Page 4 of John Lees comic

 

Utterly brilliant eh?

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No SSRI for a while… again! But I’m really proud to post the latest guest strip, this time by my boyfriend, Mitchymuss Alexander. Here he’s very openly portraying something I struggle with daily; RUMINATION (click the image to embiggen).

Rumination (from The Free Dictionary):

Noun 1. rumination – a calm, lengthy, intent consideration

cogitationstudy – attentive consideration and meditation; “after much cogitation he rejected the offer”
consideration – the process of giving careful thought to something
meditationspeculation – continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature; “the habit of meditation is the basis for all real knowledge”
meditation – (religion) contemplation of spiritual matters (usually on religious or philosophical subjects)
introspectionself-contemplationself-examination – the contemplation of your own thoughts and desires and conduct
retrospect – contemplation of things past; “in retrospect”
2. rumination – (of ruminants) chewing (the cud); “ruminants have remarkable powers of rumination”

chewingmasticationchewmanduction – biting and grinding food in your mouth so it becomes soft enough to swallow
3. rumination – regurgitation of small amounts of food; seen in some infants after feeding

disgorgementemesispukingvomitingregurgitationvomit – the reflex act of ejecting the contents of the stomach through the mouth

It’s actually sounds fine, eh (apart from maybe the last two!)? A bit of meditation, self-reflection, surely that kind of thing’s good for the soul, and for self-awareness?

Well the psychological definition is a bit different (from Wikipedia):

Rumination is usually defined as repetitively focusing on the symptoms of distress, and on its possible causes and consequences.[1] Extensive research on the effects of rumination, or the tendency to self-reflect, shows that the negative form of rumination interferes with people’s ability to focus on problem-solving and results in dwelling on negative thoughts about past failures.[2] Evidence from studies suggests that the negative implications of rumination are due to cognitive biases, such as memory and attentional biases, which predispose ruminators to selectively devote attention to negative stimuli.[3]

As Mitch’s strip today demonstrates, rumination can make even the most simple internal decision a minefield. It affects problem solving because we’re predisposed to think of all the times we got problem-solving wrong, and to completely reject the (often magnitudinously larger) amount of times we got it right… And we often become the only people in our lives who don’t trust us to do the right thing.

I do wonder if the last definition from the dictionary is somehow the most appropriate one – that instead of self reflecting, we endlessly chew over and regurgitate useless thoughts…

 

First of all, I apologise profusely for the lack of updates recently – I’ve been going through some big changes, and I’ll post up soon to let you know what’s been happening, but they’ve distracted me enough to keep me from SSRI for a while…

Secondly, while I get myself back in gear, here’s the latest guest post, this time from Cosmic Designs’ workshop alumni and Team Girl’er, MJ Wallace! Thanks for such an honest post MJ, I know I can relate to this, and I’m sure many folk who read it will too 🙂

Back soon!!

 

I’m really pleased to show you all this latest guest post from Gill Hatcher. She’s part of Team Girl Comic  and has a Tumblr page where she’s started to post more webcomics about Trichotillomania.

I’ll let Gill explain what this condition is below, but I just want to say how grateful I am to her for letting me use such a brave guest post.

“One of the most visible ways my anxiety manifests itself is ‘Trichotillomania’. Trick-o-till-o-mania is an impulse control disorder that basically means I pull out my own hair, and have very little control over it. I have been doing this since I was 13 years old, but 12 years on it’s worse than ever.

Last week I looked out a diary comic I made about 18 months ago, following my attempts to stop pulling. Interestingly, despite all the difficulties I was experiencing in my life during that time, I can now see that I had managed to gain slightly better control of my pulling through this method. So I’m taking it a step further and going public. There’s a lot of unnecessary shame and stigma surrounding trichotillomania, so I’m hoping that being more open about my struggle to become pull-free will not only help myself, but others too.

Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania support: http://www.trichotillomania.co.uk/

 

I am absolutely delighted to have a first guest strip today from the very talented Neil Slorance, co-creator and artist on ‘Jonbot vs Martha’, as well as creator of ‘Nine Lines of Metro’, one of the biggest influences on me doing my own auto-biographical comic.

He’s an absolute gem, and has a fantastic way of capturing emotion in a really raw form, as well as a quite wicked sense of humour too. If you’d like to see more of Neil’s work or catch up on what he’s doing just now, head over to:

neilslorance.com
flickr.com/photos/osm_art
twitter.com/osmart

Thanks Neil!

Normal service will resume on Wednesday and Friday, and I’ve got some more interesting guest posts coming up in the next couple of weeks. If you would like to contribute a guest post, please email me on info@cosmicdesigns.co.uk.