, who has won acclaim for her 2012 graphic novel/memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me
, will visit the area this week to give talks at Dartmouth College
and the Center for Cartoon Studies
is ostensibly about Forney’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder
, but it is equal parts meditation on the nature of creativity and well-researched history of bipolar artists of all kinds.
Forney lives in Seattle and teaches cartooning at that city’s Cornish College of the Arts
. As she was packing her suitcase for the trip east, she took a few moments to speak by phone with Seven Days
about her work.
What’s the occasion for your visit to Vermont and New Hampshire?
I’ve known [CCS cofounder] James Sturm since he lived in Seattle in ’93. He was the art director of [altweekly] the Stranger
, and that was one of my first jobs as a cartoonist/illustrator. When I started teaching at Cornish College for the Arts in 2002, he was a huge help in my putting together my curriculum. And I still haven’t been out there, so I feel like my visit is long overdue.
You said that writing Marbles
took a lot out of you. What did you mean by that?
The story of my bipolar disorder was a story I hadn’t really told before Marbles
. I wasn’t “out” about my disorder. So, gathering the materials for the book and then putting it out into the world just took a lot of emotional, social and professional energy. I had never done a full book before — most of my work I would consider graphic essays. So even logistically it was new.
Going through a lot of really difficult and often painful experiences, you kind of push those things under the rug as you go on about your life. Delving into them can be very depressing.