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.
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.”
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.”
In 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 follow T.O. Walker on Twitter @northern_thirty
• Follow Jonathan Clode on Twitter @chode9mm