There is a pressure to be strong and masculine for men, which is pronounced especially in minority groups, and it interferes with their ability to seek help. Now, this is actually true of everyone to some extent, but the strip hasn’t focused on “masculine” problems and I wanted to be sure the strip was balanced before I went in this direction. (I’ve been asked to do work support groups about mental illness that were specifically male only, and I’ve declined every time. This is not because I don’t believe males need support too, it’s that I believe in an inclusive approach).
“Man up.” I hate that phrase. It’s usually said by men who think they have a stronger grasp what it is to be a man than other people.
I had a rough draft in my idea book for a while, and went through several versions of it. For example, in one draft the main character would be talking to the camera, but I rejected that because it seemed rather dull. But having two people talk about it, I’d need a panel to give a set up space. I juggled this around for probably about four months. Even when I finally thought I had it and started drawing it, I changed the dialogue in the last panel. I’m probably not 100% happy with the final result, but it’s done. That’s the good thing about deadlines, I guess, it forces completion even when you’re not entirely satisfied with the result.
You can see the strip here: http://www.depressioncomix.com/posts/294/