As an adolescent, I experienced bouts of depression since I was uncomfortably shy, and not well liked by my peers. I was not comfortable sharing my emotional issues, often feeling that they would mark me as someone different or a potential threat. When things became very difficult, I was sent to a school counselor who only made me feel more alienated. It wasn't until I began reading comics as a form of escapism that I started to pull myself together. This is especially true of the main character in Spider-man, who like me was also an outcast and bullied. But unlike the school shooters, he didn't let his problems pull him down, rather he rose above them to help others and become a better person. Much like how comic book superheros made me join the NYPD, and become an Paramedic.

When conceiving of my comic's superhero, I chose to tie his origins to his depression, attempted suicide and struggle to overcome his inner demons and insecurities. I concluded that the perfect arch-villain should be a person very similar to a school shooter. In researching many cases of teenage suicide and school shootings, I learned that generally these events share the same underlining social and psychological factors. It is the way they deal with their problems that is different. Some face their problems with an introverted response that seeks to injure to kill themselves, while others feel the need to hurt many in an extroverted process that wants to spread their misery. Both responses are a call for attention that shares a disregard for human life, incited by mental illness and alienation. Although my comics are fantasy in genre, the story and characters are grounded in reality. Any and all supernatural elements are an extension of the real world social and psychological problems that are an all too common component of my generation. My work seeks to address these real-life issues and make them more accessible without being pretentious or didactic.

Anomie Theory is a comic book application inspired by Joseph Campbell's proposed monomyth in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. When a virus causes people with mental illness to develop strange powers and commit random acts of violence. The protagonist must confront his inner demons to gain control over his powers to save his school and surrogate mother. Reflecting closely on recent school shootings, Anomie Theory tries to give its own opinion on many of the underlying factors that contribute to these horrific events.

Prototype comic book app can be seen here
vimeo.com/66574542

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