Mental illness is a subject full of fears and misunderstandings. When faced with things we find difficult and distressing, most of us look away. Darryl Cunningham has both worked inside the psychiatric care system and suffered his own struggle with mental illness. Out of these experiences Darryl has created this book as an attempt to demystify such diverse illnesses as dementia, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression. Psychiatric Tales opens the world of the acute psychiatric wards to show the very human struggles of the people within. People who could be our neighbours, siblings, parents, employers or even ourselves. At times harrowing, but always deeply humane, this graphic novel will open your eyes to the pain of sufferers, but also the hope of recovery found by many. The work is beautifully, simply handled, allowing the events and the emotions to speak for themselves; the tales themselves are immensely touching and affecting, taking the almost taboo subject of mental illness and shining a light on conditions which can and do affect many people. Cunningham doesn't soapbox to cry for more patience and understanding for sufferers, the stories do that themselves, neither does he pass any judgement on the people coping with various conditions he encounters. As the book progresses he also explores his own issues, including dealing with stress and depression in an equally honest, incredibly touching manner. A worthy addition to works such as David B's acclaimed Epileptic.
Darryl Cunningham is an illustrator and cartoonist. Author of the book, Psychiatric Tales, in which he relates his experiences working on an acute psychiatric ward, and Science Tales; a book of comic book essays on controversial scientific subjects, such as evolution, climate change, and the MMR vaccination scandal. He lives in Yorkshire, England.
"It takes other authors whole books to say what Darryl can say in a single illustration."
Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare At Goats, The Psychopath Test) on Darryl Cunningham