"Emo Bunny: Anxiety Monster" is a short, eight-page comic draft I made near the end of 2017, after being diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, (GAD). I was 17 at the time.
The purpose of "Emo Bunny" is to highlight the struggles people with mental illness experience. It won the Gold Key in the New Hampshire Scholastic Art and Writing Regional Competition. Sarah, nicknamed "Emo Bunny", is a young girl who suffers from anxiety and severe panic attacks. It reflects my experience of having Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Sarah deals with day-to-day struggles due to her anxiety issues and depression.
In this short comic, she deals with a sudden panic attack while trying to go to sleep. Her anxiety is personified as a gruesome monster who harasses and becomes stronger as she becomes more stressed. When she experiences anxiety, it feels as if a monster is intimidating and attacking her. This is how I feel. In sharing this project, I learned that many other anxiety sufferers feel like me when experiencing a panic attack- it feels as if a monster’s voice in in your head harassing you and not letting up. Thankfully, her white cat, Serenity, comes to the rescue, ending the panic attack. I'm planning to make this a full comic series called "Emo Bunny". The comic which will detail her struggles while facing anxiety and depression all while meeting strange and quirky characters as she tries to become a model in a big city.
I wanted to use a bunny for this series because although bunnies are cuddly and soft looking, they're very anxious and sensitive pets. They need to be carefully handled due to being prey animals. “Emo Bunny” is aimed at older children/young adults as it uses a cute character and fantastical monsters to communicate the struggles of anxiety and depression.
See the comic below
"Emo Bunny: Anxiety Monster" Silent Mini Comics and Art Show Pieces
"Emo Bunny" is a comic series that is a work in progress. My plan for my gallery/presentation is to have the pieces from my Squidink Gallery online art show featured in an activist-focused gallery or showcased by an inclusive mental health organization. All the artworks below were made between the ages of 18 and 19.
Having "Emo Bunny" featured in a gallery setting can show young people there's an upcoming comic series representing people like them, as there's a lack of representation of people with anxiety disorders and mental illness in media.
My goal with this series is to show anxiety is a severe mental illness, which causes many young people to suffer silently. I feel an art show/presentation will allow me to communicate how anxiety affects a person like me and raise awareness. At the same time, I think that people who suffer from other mental illnesses such as depression, personality disorders, and different types of anxiety disorders can relate to these pieces, as it has an overall message of feeling limited, misunderstood, and isolated because of mental illness. It also expresses the feeling of being consumed by your mental illness. Communicating this perspective through these provocative pieces can spark discussion and raise awareness about how mental illness feels and how painful it can be. In doing so, I hope other young people would feel more comfortable openly sharing their struggles.