Comic Review: Pure-O

Comic, Nick McIvor, 16 pages,

Like Daniel Clowes taking a stab at a self-help manual, Pure-O is a delightfully smart and upbeat comic that deals with the realness of mental health and anxiety in a fun, informative matter. Illustrator Nick McIvor should be proud of himself for this public service, sketching everything firsthand and freely sharing throughout. McIvor details his own struggles with mental health and illustrates the ups and downs in bright, bold illustrations with candor and even a few laughs. It’s a brave endeavour: one that’s pulled off nicely. He even shares a fairly detailed breakdown of obsessive compulsive disorders and the fears that lay within OCD. Pure-O works because nothing is heavy handed. McIvor doesn’t skirt around the big stuff but he takes time to address the subject matter with a gentleness that seems very appropriate. He also gives the reader a breather or two with asides about genres of music (dude has some passions here) and a funky map that lays out the “Land of Avoidance”. McIvor also wraps things up with an FAQ section that gives a bit more of his background and why he took on this projects in the first place. It’s a great package on the whole and one that should give a smile and some peace of mind to anyone who’s ever faced a struggle — so, all of us. (Cam Gordon)