The cartoonists making mental health their muse

Publishedduration18 minutes agoSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingimage copyrightGemma Correll

Comics are not just about superheroes. Emily Oomen meets the artists shaping graphic medicine – a genre focused on the experience of living with illness.

Ellen Forney was in her twenties and working as a professional cartoonist when she stumbled into the world of graphic medicine.

The artist had been working for one of Seattle's long-running newspapers The Stranger when, in 1998 and just before she turned 30, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

She says the diagnosis "sank in like the sun had gone behind the clouds".

Comics had always been a familiar language and format for Forney. She turned to them looking for comfort and was excited to discover a new genre she had never heard of – graphic medicine.