February 27, 2024

Swell: The Graphic Journey through Depression

Art is created to express oneself and to allow others to see something fantastical through another point of view. Novels are written as a creative outlet for the author but to also take the reader through an escape route from the real world into the plot they have created. When combined these two mediums attack the senses and create an experience unlike any other.

Graphic Novelist Juliacks created Swell over five years using materials from eggs to simple pen and ink and utilizes these mediums to take readers by the hand and guide them throughout the stages of depression and grief.

A surprise death within the first pages of the novel, take lead character Emmeline into a spiral of sadness, memories, anger, regret, coping, and every other messy emotion that death tumbles out of us. Accompanied by one of a kind beautiful yet frightening artwork, Juliacks created a novel full of meaning and impact for victims of depression as well as opening a gateway for anyone to witness the pain and maze of feeling this condition causes.

Swell’s Part One: Open Faced Sandwich was nominated in IGNATZ’s 2008 category of Most Outstanding Mini-Comic and the complete production has been adapted into a play by director Kathleen Amshaff.

Swell is highly recommendable to someone bravely stepping into the genre for the first time or for veteran readers of graphic novels.

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