This zine with an awkwardly long title is also an awkwardly long story about struggling with mental health issues

The Awkwardly Long Book of Autobio Comics About Being an Anxiety Ridden and Depressed Person

Comic, Yeon Kyung (Charlotte) Cha, 32 pgs, [email protected]Cow House Press

The Awkwardly Long Book of Autobio Comics About Being an Anxiety Ridden and Depressed Person may not be concise, but it’s definitely blunt. It’s also full of relatable insecurities and awkward situations. It’s not easy to laugh at your pain, and it’s perhaps harder to turn your pain into a comic. Yeon Kyung Cha writes, “I used to try to draw comics about my mental health…These comics were left undone, as I was too overcome with pain to finish. I’m not sure what changed now.”

Yet, somehow she managed to fill 32 pages with cheeky but honest comics about her struggles with depression, self-confidence and social anxiety. Cha uses simple doodles and speech bubbles to illustrate daily thoughts and worries, such as the nagging pressure to lose weight, despite always feeling overwhelmed and over exhausted. This type of pressure can have a huge effect on our ability to socialize and cope in everyday situations. About this, Cha writes: “I’ve been told by friends that I used to seem to be 2 kewl 4 skool. Or that I hated them. Of course the reality is that I’m constantly worried.”

Cha uses her craft to analyze others, too. She resents the pressure she feels from her parents. She speaks out against racism that masquerades as comedy. There’s no such thing as lighthearted racism. It still others, and it still hurts. “There’s no power I have that is able to deflect a racist joke from affecting me and how I feel,” Cha writes. Take heed, my fellow zine lovers. Let’s all do our part to stamp out these bigoted minds.

This zine may be awkwardly long, and I’ll admit that I didn’t quite understand every comic, but I think there are some helpful messages in there. Namely, that making art about your problems is a great way to unburden yourself. It feels good to finish projects, so why not make something like a comic zine?