The 2018 Baltimore Comic-Con starts this Friday at the Baltimore Convention Center! Tickets are on sale through Thursday afternoon!
This Saturday at Baltimore Comic-Con, comics creators will team up to discuss mental health in the comics industry and beyond.
The last few years has seen the loss of entertainment icons such as Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, and others due to suicides connected, in part, to anxiety, depression, and addiction. While some have spoken out to raise awareness (including BCC guest Wil Wheaton, of Star Trek fame), too often, mental illness is an assumed and accepted condition of creative individuals.
John Gallagher (Buzzboy, Kids Love Comics) will moderate “Creativity & Mental Health – A Roundtable Discussion,” 4:00-5:00 PM Saturday, and will be discussing being creative, and how it can sometimes go hand-in-hand with depression, anxiety, learning differences, and more. Joining Gallagher will be Laura Lee Gulledge (Page by Page, Sketchbook Dares), Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules, Disney’s Tangled)), and Jamar Nicholas (Leon: Protector of the Playground). Each creator will discuss their personal experiences, as well as topics like coping mechanisms, support networks, and reaching out for professional help. “Like diabetes, cancer, or any other disease, depression is not something to hide, or be ashamed of,” says Gallagher, who has been treated the last twenty years for chronic depression, “and we wanted to get the conversation out in the open, hopefully to help guide creators, fans, and friends out of their dark places.”
Gallagher does point out that he and the speakers are not therapists, but rather, creators who have worked in the trenches of the comics world, while dealing with issues of mental health. And while the panel will only be one hour, Gallagher hopes the discussion will continue and grow. As Gallagher stated, “Being diagnosed and treated for depression lifted me up beyond my illness, and allowed me to create comics that make me and others happy.” Gallagher added, “Hopefully, this talk will help folks not feel so alone, and reach out for help, personally and professionally.”
The discussion, entitled Creativity & Mental Health – A Roundtable Discussion, will take place from 4 to 5PM on Saturday.