Inside the hero


Graphite, Pen & Ink, and Digital
July 31st, 2012

I have been working on a design for the current Gallery Gachet t-shirt contest.

Depression is a scary disorder that can become worse if left untreated. It’s vicious because it lives in the mind, and has few visible indicators until it gets really serious. While there are some days where one can hide it, many work hard to project a mask of sanity and wellness when out in public. I discussed this with a friend recently who has started to work at the Coast Mental Health as a volunteer. He mentioned that he was surprised at how “normal” everyone seemed, and while I had an immediate explaination for that, I was really glad that he shared his observations with me. Rather than being judged, one hides behind smiles and competency in public because to admit that you are feeling unwell or so depressed that you can’t even understand what people are saying is to expose oneself to ridicule and to admit weakness. Some people are very cruel and even the well-intentioned cannot help but make a snap judgement. It’s still a stigma to be mentally unwell, even with all the hard work that the media, some celebrities, and care facilities are doing to promote its awareness and gain acceptance. Worst of all is when we judge ourselves.

I’ve always loved and hated Wonder Woman. She’s so cool, and so very VERY flawed. Even 70 years later, she is stuck in a sexist-loop, demeaning herself by allowing herself to be bullied by teammates and still sporting a skin-tight flag as her costume (where’s the torso-covering toga?) . Don’t get me wrong, I like a girl who knows how to flaunt her curves, but when Wonder Woman was rebooted a few years back, I was excited to see how a modern WW would fare in the 21st century. Needless to say, I stopped collecting after a dozen issues.

Wonder Woman is all surface. And while we may know that the strong confident woman is still there somewhere inside, she’s a few more layers down, hidden under the face who is calling the shots. Until such time as we’re comfortable baring all of our layers, we wear a brave super hero mask and get by.

Hotpants are optional, of course.

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