Mental Health continues to be an ever-growing concern in society and so it makes sense for fiction to focus more on it. Comics are no exception to this with a number of small press titles, like Worry Wart, Brain Shoodles and Wired Up Wrong, all focused on various mental health issues. This week we look at Roddy McCance and Rolands Kalnins’ Tales of the Fractured Mind, an anthology which offers readers a more varied glimpse into the different forms of mental health.
Publisher: Roddy McCance Comics
Writer: Roddy McCance
Artist: Rolands Kalnins
Price: £2.99 from ComiXology
Tales of the Fractured Mind is an anthology book offering stories which offer insights into the various forms of mental health issues which the general public may face in their lifetime. From a tale about battling depression, to a story focusing on the effects of post traumatic stress and the consequences of bullying and beyond. The Tales of the Fractured Mind offer those who know these sufferings support, while for those who are unaware, an opportunity to learn.
Roddy McCance has produced an incredibly poignant book with Tales of the Fractured Mind (TOTFM), with all the stories feeling very honest and, in some case, down right heartbreaking. Each story is self-contained, having no connection with the others and focusing on very different notions of mental health. Each of these stories feel like they have been written with an incredible amount of understanding of their individual focus, such as with clock of the world whose chaotic nature within the story seems to give a perfect impression of Bi-Polar disorder. As a result of this, certain stories feel a little too close to home for this reviewer, confirming the high level of detail. This is a comic which feels like a real labour of love from start to finish, as proven by McCance’s introduction which is a truly beautiful piece of writing.
Of course, while the writing is phenomenal, Rolands Kalnins doesn’t shirk from his role either as he turns in some hauntingly beautiful pages. Kalnins style is a style similar to that of Joshua Sherwell in The Kill Screen, really amping up the horror vibe for most, if not all, of the stories. This is what help sells the title, as this disturbing look matches the chaotic nature of many of the stories, while also selling the the brutally dark nature which comes with mental health. Of course, Kalnins also shows himself to be more than capable of scaling back, adjusting his style for something more subdued during quieter moments. This is best encapsulated in the War on Reality, as he effortlessly leaps from one style to the other as the story goes from a calm homecoming to brutal carnage and back again.
Tales of the Fractured Mind is an immensely powerful book. Wonderfully written from cover to cover and beautifully drawn to match, Roddy McCance and Rolands Kalnins have produced a title which is up there amongst other mental health focused comics. However, what this book has going for it is that it offers insight to many different facets and allows those suffering to know that they aren’t alone. And, whether you just want to know you aren’t alone, or want to know more about the topic as a whole, Tales of the Fractured Mind is an essential read, and one which might soothe the most fractured of minds, even for a moment.