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Cooklin – World on Fire

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World on Fire

Note: as has been the case for all of Cooklin’s books that I reviewed from CXC this year, they’re not technically listed under available comics at their website. But since I bought the comics a few months ago, and since Cooklin didn’t seem to be running all that low, I’m thinking that if you check in with them then you can probably get your own copies.

Hey everybody, it’s the review after the disclaimer! Ugh, this is why I so rarely use paragraphs here and prefer to just ramble. Trying to make blog posts “formally correct” is a job for a fool. In case this is the first comic of Cooklin’s that you’re reading about here, a quick explainer: they conducted many interviews with people who have clinical depression and/or other forms of mental illness and then released these comics to raise awareness. The interviews were anonymous, so don’t worry about spotting anybody you know. Honestly, I saved this one for last because of that title, as it’s something I’ve always wondered about: how do you treat/deal with your depression when the world is, objectively, terrible? The story here is familiar, in that they had a relatively uneventful upbringing, right up until the point (in high school) that they started being more aware of the events of the outside world, which naturally led to more depression. They tried talking to their parents or just hoping for a better world, but people didn’t take their concerns all that seriously. As has been the case for all of these minis that I’ve read, there’s not much here about tips to help deal with this kind of depression, but that’s probably tricky in its own right. Treatment is complicated, and it’s possible that offering a few quick bits of advice in a mini comic is maybe as problematic as offering bad advice. I’m still hoping for a collected edition or maybe a regular old book with all of their interviews and the conclusions Cooklin drew from them, but who knows. I’ll find out at CXC next year maybe? This one is somewhere between $5-8, so check with the creator for details…

Cooklin – Small Sh*t

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Small Sh*t

Oh, did I ever hedge on whether or not to spell out “shit” in the title. But in the end, that’s how Cooklin chose to present it on the cover of their comic, so who am I to randomly throw in curse words just because I can? If this is your first comic by Cooklin, you should know that they conducted a series of interviews with people who suffer from depression or similar mental illnesses. These comics are based on those interviews, with anonymity obviously protected. Based on their shop there were a whole lot of comics that I should have picked up at CXC due to fantastic titles alone, but sadly my money is not infinite. Oh, the comics I would have if it was! Anyway, this comic is just what it sounds like: helping your mental health by focusing on small stuff, things that you can control. Try to avoid the big highs and lows, just do your best to keep things on an even keel. This person, for example, would put a row of penguins along their bed, both as something pleasant to start the day off with and as an example of something they could control. An act of kindness could also help, as it’s tough to stay depressed after getting a compliment on something that they took the time to make for another person. There are a few other suggestions too and, as always (or at least after two comics), this seems like an invaluable resource for anybody trying to navigate their own depression. This particular volume isn’t listed in their store at the moment, but maybe just check with Cooklin to see if there are still copies available? Or catch them at a con, I suppose, but it would probably be faster to send them money and ask for books. $8