Now that they’ve been announced…
… I can finally speak a little about the text-based game, Internal Damnation, and the comic, Worlds Apart, two of the projects I’ve co-created that’ll be released this year. I’ll start with the latter first and get into Internal Damnation in a separate post.
The idea to create a comic talking about mental health came from Difference Engine. I don’t know if it’s because we already have a great working relationship, or because of my vocal support of Nadia’s advocacy for caregiver support and mental health awareness – but either way, I was seriously excited (and honoured and also a little intimidated) that they asked me to write it.
Even before we started work on it, Worlds Apart went through some changes, but the largest of which was that it was originally going to be a short web comic. Its focus likewise shifted a couple of times, before the team and I decided that it should cover one specific aspect: the misconceptions and stigmas around mental health.
The core story itself was inspired by a few conversations I’ve had with well-meaning folks –people who, through no fault of their own, aren’t familiar with mental health and whose understanding of it stemmed from some of those falsehoods. I also spoke to several people who shared their own encounters with misconceptions and stigmas, which informed a lot of the points in the story.
Difference Engine provided a selection of artists that I could work with, all of whom were excellent – but Nurjannah’s style and particular strengths made her the right fit. A lot of this story relies heavily on facial expressions and, as you can already see in the announcement, it’s an aspect in which she shines and shines brightly.
She’s also been extremely patient with me. This is my first time writing in full script for a comic and my first time working with her. Add on the fact that I had a very specific idea of what I wanted to do visually and it resulted in a pretty detailed script for her to navigate – which she’s done and continues to do wonderfully. And even within the confines of my admittedly prescriptive approach, she still managed to find ways to pleasantly surprise me!
I think it’s safe to say that, whether together or individually, Work-Life Balance and Internal Damnation are certainly the biggest projects I’ve ever been a part of – but Worlds Apart is, without a doubt, the most important.