Life can be overwhelming at times, especially while dealing with a pandemic. Stress and anxiety has been at an all-time high for a number of people and focusing on your mental health is important.
Near the end of 2021 I finally made the realization that talking to someone about my anxiety was the best thing for my mental health. My toughest hurdles to overcome were the cost and stigma of asking for help. However, I told myself it needed to happen and with the urging of my wife, Taylor, I started online therapy.
While therapy helps and finding the right person with whom to discuss your life, I found the simplest and most effective thing for me and my mental health was to dive into my biggest passion, the world of comic books.
When I say the world of comic books, I truly mean the entire encompassing world of comics. This includes reading, collecting, selling, organizing, discussing, drawing, writing, and more. Hence the reason Adam Morrisette and I decided to launch Capes and Tights.
There is an abundance of comic books in a variety of genres. Reading allows you to get lost in an adventure with superheroes or a whimsical world of make believe. Even the more grounded comics can put you in someone else’s shoes for an issue or two, but you need to remember their problems are not real. However, I find the best escape is in the more superhero genre as these are based in complete fiction.
Not only does the story allow you to escape, the comic art does too. Reading a comic over and over again allows you to comprehend the story, but also allows you to look at all the detail the entire creative team puts into the project. This includes the penciler, colorist and letterer. A comic book is a true team effort and all elements allow you to enjoy the book.
Comic books have also had a massive impact in Hollywood. The Marvel Cinematic Universe now has released 29 feature films and a number of tv series. Additionally, there are dozens of other movies and tv shows based on comic book source material.
The other side of comics is just as cathartic as reading. Collecting and organizing the books distracts me from the stresses of my real life. Bagging, boarding, filing in white long boxes and adding to the online database allows me to think methodically and distract my mind in a positive way. This does not make those stresses go away completely, but it helps for a moment and even put things into perspective of how lucky I even am to have comic books in my life.
While collecting can help your mental health, it can also come with a downside. Purchasing comic books can get expensive which in turn can add more stress. Only collect comics you are interested in and only if you can afford them. An alternative to collecting is a ComiXology or Marvel Unlimited subscription. These options can help ease that cost of collecting as they have thousands of books to read for a small monthly fee.
The ability to talk about comics or movies on the Capes and Tights Podcast with Adam allows me to get lost in the world of make believe once again. In addition to helping us personally, we hope that our ability to discuss comics in verbal or written form can allow our listeners and readers the chance to escape in our world.
Local comic shops and comic book groups, such as the Bishart Kids Club, can allow you to interact with others with the same passions. Having a deep discussion on what is the best superpower or what you are reading or collecting at the moment engages you with others in different way.
Growing With Comics
Sometimes it can be difficult for people to understand my relationship with comics at age 36. “Aren’t comic books made for kids?” is a typical statement made towards me. I have had to learn to accept the fact that some people just don’t understand.
As I grow as a person, I am happy to say the one constant that keeps my mind at peace (other than the love from my wife and son, Nova) is the wonderful world of comics. I hope as Nova grows up he will learn a thing or two from his Dad and continue with reading and collecting these great funny books.
Now all this can be said about a lot of passions or hobbies. I just know that this has helped me personally escape from the crazy world we live in currently. If comics is not that for you, find that something and escape the world in make believe.