Comics is the Place


Slide2“Today’s world seems so depressing. Conflicts, sexual assaults, climate change. Different kinds of bad news from the globe are more than enough to fill the daily headlines. I read the news. But I also have my own depression and trauma to deal with, just like any other normal people.”

Slide3“As Mrs. Herman said, remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites for both the restoration of the social order and the healing of individuals. Everyone longs for ways to vent negative feelings. But so often people will not do that until they cannot bear it anymore.”

Slide4“In contrast to the huge matters in the news, when it comes to individuals’ own personal trauma, we are often supposed to internalize what are deemed too trivial in comparison. In the era of information, we can always know there are people suffering from worse tragedies. At least, people die every day.”

Slide5“It hurts remembering and reliving the trauma. And it hurts more when people have to internalize it, believing that no one empathizes with them or even care. People want to express their feelings, but also to express to someone who can understand and support. If not, nothing more will be said.”

Slide6“Traumatized people usually alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. As people try to bury the traumatic memory somewhere, they let the days drift away, let time erase the memory, and eventually become numb towards everything.”

Slide7“Therefore, when someone else resorts to them, they don’t know how to react properly. And they haven’t been helped before. They act like Siri in the iPhone that listens but never gives the right responses. But even Siri will not just say ‘I feel you’ and then show some news about 9-11 after someone claims to suicide.”

Slide8“And that completes the vicious cycle. More and more people choose to internalize their own trauma and depression, deal with them alone, which further aggravates the situation, and turn other people who need help away. Those being turned away then choose to internalize trauma as well.”

Slide9“The first step of recovery is the establishment of safety. More importantly, a sense of safety with which people are comfortable to remember and talk about trauma. Or trauma will like ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told, bombing the gut of the temple.”

Slide10“While David could go to the rabbit and Sandra could attend the conference, not every protagonist manages to find a safe place to start this kind of conversation. Then for millions of people in the real world experiencing different levels of trauma and depression, what would the safe place be in our society?”

Slide11“Fortunately, as more and more people turn to literature, especially comics, to relive their life and express themselves, they are starting conversations with millions of readers. The nature of comics could make the conversation more vivid, more personal. A personal conversation that talks about the trauma is the critical first step of recovery. “