All is Not Well, a comics project that lifts the lid of the reality of care givers, launched

All is Not Well - Art Sample

Last year, comic creator Jonathan Clode let us know about All is Not Well, a comic web project he was working on with Cardiff University about carers. After some delays, it recently just launched – and like Parables of Care, the dementia comics project which we featured recently, it offers some marvellous, thought-provoking tales.

Developed by Cardiff University and a group of independent comic creators, the aim of the All is Not Well project is to reflect the reality of life as a care giver via the medium of short graphic narratives.

All is Not Well - "It’s All About Choice" by Lucy Bergonzi

Alongside Jonathan, creators involved include Lucy Bergonzi whose first story “It’s All About Choice”, focuses on the difficult decisions care workers have to make. She’s perhaps best known as an illustrator for Books Beyond Words, who publish books especially designed for people with learning disabilities – people who may not read words.

“I think comics have a huge scope to embody and portray people’s everyday experience,” she says, “via the proxy of a character, or set of characters, no matter what the genre is.”

Art from "I See You" by T.O. Walker
Art from “I See You” by T.O. Walker

T.O. Walker (whose graphic memoir Not My Shame is available from Singing Dragon) has provided a tale “I See You”, which centres on a girl who is cared for by her father after being discharged from psychiatric hospital.

“I think people are increasingly recognising the value of comics in telling a wide variety of stories,” she says of comics ability to tell kinds of stories that can shift attitudes towards the medium among people who might never consider reading one.

“… I wanted to communicate the importance of actions, that caring actions can communicate more than words and that they can communicate care when words are difficult,” she says of her story, which is largely wordless. “With no dialogue I had to try and draw readers in with the images straight away and then hold their attention with these images. Hopefully I have done that by using images to create a sense of curiosity in the reader, making them want answers to questions about what’s going on, why is it going on and what will happen next.”

Art from "I See You" by T.O. WalkerIn the works are strips by Jonathan Clode, working with illustrator Jonas A. Larsen.

Jonathan, whose credits include co-editing and writing for the World War One anthology To End All Wars, tells us that although the project has a good few creators already on board, the team behind it are looking for people to engage with the site, either through their interest in comics or their experiences as care givers or people who need care.

If you are, or know of anyone who’d be interested in taking part, either through a feature on their work and experiences, or as a contributing creator, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jonathan via the project’s web site.

• Check out the comics online for free at allisnotwell.com

• You can visit Lucy’s site at  www.lucybergonzi.co.uk | The books she’s worked on are available from Books Beyond Words

• You can follow T.O. Walker on Twitter @northern_thirty

• Follow Jonathan Clode on Twitter @chode9mm

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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