Thursday, April 29, 2021

"All the Places in Between," is a Fantastic Comic About Mental Health as a Metaphor

John Cei Douglas' new original graphic novel, "All the Places in Between," is dedicated to exploring mental health as a metaphor. It imagines our mindscape as everything from a lighthouse to a strange crumbling city near a cliff hit by a tidal wave of depression. Published by Liminal 11, I found Douglas' book to be a stellar read as gorgeous to look at as it was meditative.

There is no dialogue throughout, "All the Places in Between." Just occasional text denoting a new chapter or section. Everything else wordless in a manner that assists in showing how hard it can be to communicate our struggles when dealing with anxiety, depression, and the like. A nameless heroine tries to navigate various difficult landscapes and finds that having a companion can really help to ease the stress--just as in life how having a solid support network is immensely useful.

Having the sequential narrative be silent means the art has to really, "Speak," for itself. Douglas is a fantastically skilled artist, however, and manages to impart so much emotion and meaning in his drawings without ever needing to have a word uttered by anyone. The black-and-white artwork hits with an eye-pleasing impact, whether it's a relaxing scene in a meadow or a moment of immense terror as the aforementioned tidal wave rolls in.

"All the Places in Between," is a stupendous book that excels in exploring mental health through artistic metaphor. I would encourage you to buy a copy for yourself from Liminal 11's website, at all finer bookstores, or you can always see if your library can get a copy! It's a marvelous book.

5 out of 5 stars.

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