Saturday 7 August 2010

A Summery of Recent Events

It's been a very good year, so far. Perhaps my best ever. Psychiatric Tales was finally published after years of effort. All hail the internet for getting me to the attention of publishers. It's now out in the UK from the small but perfectly formed UK publishing house, Blank Slate, and will be published by the giganto-sized publishing house, Bloomsbury, in the US early next year.

The book is selling well. It's certainly attracting a lot of attention. I was interviewed for the Big Issue back in Feb (far better than selling the Big Issue). Did a live radio interview on a Scottish arts show. Was invited to take part in the Graphic Medicine conference at the University of London. This latter event looked at the ways that the comic strip format could be used in the study and delivery of health care. Which sounds dry, but it was a very enjoyable event.

Last week I was in Oxford as a guest of Caption (Oxford's annual comic's convention). In three weeks (Monday 23rd of August) I'll be doing a talk at the Laydeez Do Comics meeting at the Rag Factory in Brick Lane, London. The day before that I'll be attending the Comica Comiket Independent Comic Fayre, at the Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park, London.

Oh yes, Psychiatric Tales was also Graphic Novel of the month in the Observer, and this week will be reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement. So it's all rumbling along very well. It's amazing how quickly I've started taking all this for granted.

Also this year I've started putting on the internet chapters of the latest book I've been working on, called: Science Stories. These chapters have whipped up a storm of controversy, as they've tackled such divisive subjects as the MMR Vaccine Scandal, Homeopathy, and NASA's supposed Moon Landing hoax. The comments I've received about these strips have been mostly positive, but I have had my fair share of hate mail. So it goes. Here's a typical example from Anon.

"It is morons like you that cause even lower level idiots to attempt to think with bad information. I am so glad I don't know you or your friends."

This stuff doesn't bother me though. It's to be expected.

On the negative side, despite all this success, I'm still very poor. Although now years in the past, the consequences of being ill and having to leave the nursing course I was doing, are still with me. I ran up huge debts at that time (I was in such despair that I didn't care what happened). So the little money I do make is usually sucked up in charges by the vampire bank, leaving me feebly dry.

This will of course change in time. I presume that Psychiatric Tales and the books I'm working on now will generate money at some point in the future. But I'm not there yet. Which is why donations are still gratefully received. Thanks all.


feistyflo said...

So glad to see Psychiatric Tales finally published. I wish you all the best with the book. I hope it'll elevate some of the financial burden for you in time to come.

Anonymous said...

Hey Darryl,
Your journey is inspiring and amazing. Keep up the good work. I'm sure things will continue to improve.

Donald said...

I will be getting your book from my local comic shop shortly. Hang in there!

sarah burgess said...


I am afraid i cannot get your book at the moment =( because i too am very poor and am too very ill and unable to work haha! which is why i just wanted to ask from the source, so what kind of mental illness does the comic talk about? and also this is why i am quite interested to hear a story from someone you cna relate to =) I am curiuos to know what it entales- I'll be sure to get it soon anyway because everyone is ranting and raving about it! I thought you'd like to know that =)

I think blank slate books are awesome, too, I'd hoped if i were ever published, i'd want the UK publisher to be them- i remember going around bristol comicons and seeing things like 'trains are mint' before blankslate took thme on, it's really nice to see such variety in a UK publisher <)

anyways i'm sorry to ramble but uh it's just really nice to see someone who put in a lot of hard work and is getting so much out of it, and i dont know, i just tohught you might appreciate that 'phsyciatric tales' is on the lips of everyone i know at the moment =D !!

Mart said...

Congrats Darryl!
Regarding the hater comments - just don't even read them, there is no point. Just read the reviews (if you want to) and the constructive criticism.
I've had people comment that they want to beat me up or I've had people on Bleeding Cool discussing the negative side of my personality - although I haven't read those comments myself!
It's just very easy for people to write their silly gut reaction down, and they don't think of the consequences.
I actually have tried communicating with some of the people - one person seemed offended by my depiction of a transvestite character - but they rarely respond back.

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