I, like most of you, know people who have struggled with mental illness. I too have had a lifelong “relationship” with depression, mild as mine is. After reading Elaine Will’s moving graphic novel I feel like I have a better understanding of what it truly feels like to be lost, lost in a world of fear and isolation.
The book takes us through the story of Jeremy Knowles, a High School senior whose grip on reality is quickly slipping away. What follows is a hallucination filled trip through Jeremy’s life. It’s all at once frightening, mesmerizing, and totally believable.
One of the amazing things about comics is their ability to form a complete world that you can totally trust. When I watch a film or a tv show I’m often pulled out of the story for a moment, a badly delivered line, an actor who I recognize from something else, the spell can be broken quite easily for me. But in books, and in well drawn comics, you are totally under the spell of the author and artist.
Here are some pages from Look Straight Ahead, the original web comic publication:
This is more than a story about mental illness, I mean yes Jeremy is definitely suffering from manic depression and is in need of help. And he does get it, finally. This story in my opinion is about Jeremy’s journey, what he sees, experiences. It’s not an easy journey and it’s certainly not easy to watch but I think if you have any desire to understand what a victim of mental illness goes through you need to read this book. And after you’ve read it? Pass it on, more people need to see this.
Look Straight Ahead is due to hit comic shops October 30th and bookstores on November 5th.
Want to make sure you get a copy? Pre-order it at Amazon or give the Diamond order code to your local comics shop.
Look Straight Ahead
Author: Elaine M. Will
Artist: Elaine M. Will
Format: Graphic Novel
Length: 256 pages
Age: 14 & up
Diamond Order Code: AUG13 0935
I’m really glad I got to read this book, I’m sure this won’t be the last time you hear about it here at What’cha Reading…