I recently participated in an interview about depression comix. One of the things I mentioned offhand was about my first comic, “A Heart Made of Glass” which was my first attempt at trying to express depression in comic form.
She asked for the link. Unfortunately, I don’t have one. I had big plans to rescan the whole thing and give it a permanent home here on claycomix.com, but procrastination kicked in and well, you know the rest.
So here I am scrambling to put this online, using the scans that are about 18 years old. Well, pressure does wonders, so I’ll be putting chapters one and two up this week before the interview goes online.
As I said, this was my first comic that I put on the web. It was also my first comic endeavor in a while. Looking at it now, it’s so obvious where my influences came from, the primary one being Neon Genesis Evangelion where I was trying to cop Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s style as much as I could. Another one was Clerks. Looking at a lot of the art is a bit painful … I really overused crosshatching and weird anatomy is very present. My handwriting on the other hand, is exactly the same.
However, there is some depression comix-like stuff happening, especially in the two pages after he gets broken up. The page where he is in bed thinking circular thoughts is probably the best page in the book, and is the best example of how A Heart Made of Glass is a precursor of depression comix.
Even looking at it now it brings me back to a place. I recognize the pillow, the clock, the photographs on the floor. I even remember my peculiar habit of sleeping backwards on the bed when I was particularly depressed, which I haven’t done in a very long time. The book is filled with little details that make me remember where I was when all this happened.
I don’t think I would do anything like this now. I wanted to describe depression but things like breaking up with someone are so commonplace that no one would understand it. I think that’s one of the big pitfalls with doing a comic on depression about yourself, it’s really impossible to describe why it happens. One of the things I did with depression comix is skip the why and focus on the depression itself with no reason or justification.
The character of this comic eventually landed up in Sexy Losers but never made the transition to depression comix. I just didn’t want it to be so obviously about me.
You can read Chapter One here. Some commentary I wrote in 1999 and 2003 is also included. I hope you find something worthwhile in it.