Leah Hayes is an illustrator, musician, graphic novelist, songwriter and producer. She has published several books withnbsp;Fantagraphics, including Funeral of the Heart, Holynbsp;Moly, and her latest work, Not Funny Ha-Ha (out June 2015). She also has several albums out with her band, Scary Mansion, writes songs, andnbsp;produces beatsnbsp;for pop and hip-hop artists.
Bright-Eyed at Midnight collects the best of the 365 pages she made in 2014. By turns funny, unsettling, charming, improvisational, honest, and evocative, Stein explores her 1980s childhood, dreams, travel, artist’s block, drinking, recording and playing rock shows, and bar patrons, along with quiet moments of introspection and loneliness in the most exciting city in America. Drawn in pen and ink and vibrant watercolors, and written in a minimalist, poetic cadence, Bright-Eyed at Midnight is a thoughtful, meditative visual diary from an acclaimed cartoonist.
Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic and terrified that medications would cause her to lose creativity, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability while retaining her passions and creativity.
Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the crazy artist, she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to “cure” an otherwise brilliant mind.
Darkly funny and intensely personal, Forney’s memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist’s work, as she shares her own story through bold black-and-white images and evocative prose.