Hooray, Chocolate for Choice!

Last week’s  Chocolate for Choice was probably the funnest fundraiser I’ve ever attended, and I was lucky enough to be a judge – meaning I had to eat chocolate and chew ponderously, as opposed to the rest of everything which was pretty much just eating as much amazing chocolate as possible, -o-rama. There were volunteers wandering around with trays of milk (cups of whole, 2%, skim, and soy). It was bananas. Good show, NARAL!

1891100_10152057849692736_349326991_nI filled that box in front of me with chocolates to take home. I was offered another box but I was too overwhelmed at that point!

Woman of Letters

Hey, San Francisco! I will be in this (and I’d like to add, it is a special day not only because of this, or because March 8 is International Women’s Day, but also because it will be my BIRTHDAY):

Women of Letters

A Show and Tell Presentation

March 8, 8:00pm, Z Space

Smash-hit Australian literary salon Women of Letters returns to the US for the second year running. Co-curated by writers Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire, the bestselling events revive the lost art of letter writing. In 2013, Women of Letters staged shows in Los Angeles,  Austin, New York and Indonesia to huge acclaim.  Their international stages have seen incredible women sharing stories, and this year’s US tour will be no exception. These fabulous women will each be penning and reading ‘A letter to the person who told me the truth.’

San Francisco’s line up features:

Acclaimed novelist and essayist AYELET WALDMAN
Comedian and actress KATE WILLETT
Award-winning author of The Lovely Bones ALICE SEBOLD
Graphic novelist and author of Marbles ELLEN FORNEY
Linguist and member of The Long Now Foundation LAURA WELCHER
Award-winning performance poet DAPHNE GOTTLIEB and
Writer and author of Queen Sugar NATALIE BASZILE

“We admire and support these women—and hope you will too by seeing this rare appearance…Celebrate International Women’s Day!! ”—Susan Harloe and JoAnne Winter, Artistic Directors, Word for Word Performing Arts  Company

Tickets and more info here.

A Little Ketchup

Here are some recent things! Like, some things since… July!

At the end of my Artist in Residency at Town Hall last fall, Scholar in Residence David Montgomery and I gave a presentation about how a cartoonist and a geologist spin our nonfiction material into stories. It was fun, it went great! Here is a video of that talk.

I won an Inkpot Award at the San Diego Comicon in July, and the trophy is totally adorable:


I interviewed the charming and wildly popular Allie Brosh (“Hyperbole and a Half”) at Bumbershoot in Aug.:

Bumbershoot 2013 Seattle, WA Photo by Christopher Nelson (c) One Reel 2013

PsychCentral interviewed me for an article in Dec., descriptively titled “The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned in Managing My Bipolar Disorder.” Not my main point but here is one thing: treats. I still hate blood draws even after all these years, so I’ve started buying myself a fancy matcha tea drink afterwards, and it’s done wonders. I even found myself happily thinking about my tea drink as I was walking to the lab a couple months ago. Success!

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a full-page interview in Dec. as the end of a yearlong series about mental illness.

I’ll be a keynote speaker at the 2014 Comics & Medicine Conference at Johns Hopkins. Very very excited!!

Another talk in a medical context: a symposium at George Washington University in April 2014, “examining the fraught relationship between the diagnostic work of the medical industry and the embodied lives of disabled people.”

Another talk in April 2014: part of “Compulsive Narratives: The Graphic Novel as Confession and Inspiration,” an exhibit at Rutgers-Camden University, which includes a bunch of Marbles originals and an installation that looks like a psychiatrist’s office, with my sketchbooks and pills scattered on the floor.

Right now I’m working on a comic for The Stranger about a disastrous attempt to make a nice dinner for my sweetheart, the murals for the Sound Transit light rail station, teaching “Graphic Novels as Literature” and “Comics: Essential Tools” at Cornish College of the Arts, a couple of private commissions, and….. a new book!

San Diego Comic-Con Schedule, July 18–21

Ooh, the enormous Comic-Con Of All Comic-Cons approaches! I am a “special guest” this year, and Marbles was nominated for an Eisner in the “Best Reality-Based Work” category. Woo! (Alison Bechdel won in 2008, and noted into the mic, “As opposed to a Faith-Based Work?”)

Ta-da, my San Diego Comic-Con schedule. Busy busy!


Thurs., July 18, 11am–12pm
Signing, Prism Comics
Booth #2144
Thurs., July 18, 4pm–5:30pm
Signing, Fantagraphics Books
Booth #1718
Thurs. July 18, 6pm – 7pm
Panel, Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond Gay and Straight
Rm 28DE
Fri. July 19, 11am–12pm
Spotlight On Ellen Forney
Rm 9
Fri. July 19, 1pm–2pm
Panel, Humor in Graphic Novels
Rm 9
Fri. July 19, 3:30pm–4:30pm
Autograph Area
Fri. July 19, Eisner Award Ceremony
Presenting three awards with Rebecca Cloonan
[Nail-biting until the Reality-Based category is over!]
Sat. July 20, 11:45am–12pm
Interview, Comic Outpost TV
Booth #802
Sat. July 20, 5pm–6:30pm
Signing, Fantagraphics Books
Booth #1718
Sun. July 21, 11am–12pm
Autograph Area
Sun. July 21, 1pm–2pm
Signing, Mysterious Galaxy
Booth #1119

Lust Wallpaper for Your Kinky Phone Gadget!

Just for you! Color options: Grape-alicious or Golden Touch.

iPhone 5  1136 x 640:
Grape Lockscreen  ||  Homescreen
Gold   Lockscreen  ||  Homescreen

Windows Phone & Android 480 x 800:
Grape Lockscreen  ||  Homescreen
Gold   Lockscreen  ||  Homescreen

Android 720 x 1280:
Grape Lockscreen  ||  Homescreen
Gold   Lockscreen  ||  Homescreen

iPhone 4 and older:
Grape Lockscreen  ||  Homescreen
Gold   Lockscreen  ||  Homescreen

Thank You, Stranger, For An Amazing Fall

End of tour, marked with a bang! The Stranger publishes the first excerpt: Chapter 1, starting on the cover. Note: this is my thirteenth Stranger cover, after these and this.

As I have been behind in my posts, I see I haven’t mentioned that in September, the Stranger honored me with a Genius Award in Literature. A million thanks to the Stranger, for support and encouragement for… for my whole career, really.


Marbles, Kind Of A Cliff Notes Update

On Nov. 6, Jake and I had a champagne toast, celebrating my book release. Since then, I’ve been giving readings/presentations on my book tour, talking about Marbles and meeting people, it’s been amazing.

Some highlights: well, Marbles is a NY Times bestseller. I’m on Morning Edition today. (Also archived.) The review in the LA Times emphasizes that the search for personal identity is universal. Entertainment Weekly gave it an “A.” Thumbs-ups from Time Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, Seattle Magazine, and NPR’s book reviews. More radio interviews on KUOW and Oregon Public Broadcasting. Exciting!

I’m in SF, on the last leg of my book tour. Jet lagged but happy! Here are the rest of my tour dates:

Monday, Nov. 26, San Francisco – Booksmith, 7:00pm – 1644 Haight Street

Tuesday, Nov. 27, San Francisco –  Cartoon Art Museum, 7:00pm – 655 Mission Street

Thursday, Nov. 29, Seattle – Elliott Bay Books, 7:00pm – 1521 Tenth Avenue

Below: My agent had a bottle of champagne delivered to me after Marbles hit the NY Times bestseller list (that night!! Thank you, Holly!).


My Bipolar Disorder is Graphic and Novel

So nice to be working out the little details! A few days ago, I got some test pages from Gotham so I could check the brightness of the paper and the darkness of the ink. I’m a geek, I love that stuff. Here’s a run-down of recent Marbles-related news and reviews:

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me

A graphic memoir by Ellen Forney


Gotham Books (A member of Penguin Group USA Inc.), 256 pages (yeah, that’s right, yo! I think my previous record was like, 4). Release date: Nov. 6, 2012

Official website:  marblesbyellenforney.com (designed by Jake. It formats itself differently depending on what gadget you are using. Fancy!)

I just got a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly:

“Witty and insightful . . . Beginning with the manic episode that led to her diagnosis, Forney chronicles her journey toward reconciling the dual natures of bipolar disorder: a dangerous disease, but also a source of inspiration for many artists. The long journey of medication and therapy is kept from gloom by Forney’s lively, likable cartooning. . . Readers struggling with their own mania or depression will find Forney good company, and others searching for insight into the minds of troubled artists will find Forney an engaging storyteller.” Full review here.

and a starred review from Kirkus Reviews:

“For anyone who loves graphic memoir or has concerns about bipolar swings, creativity and medication, this narrative will prove as engaging and informative as it is inspirational. . . Not only does [Forney’s] conversational intimacy draw readers in, but her drawings perfectly capture the exhilarating frenzy of mania and the dark void of depression.” Full review here.

I was honored with a Stranger Genius nomination for literature, and Marbles was chosen as one of BookExpo America’s “Hottest Graphic Novels of 2012” and as one of Publisher’s Weekly‘s “Top Ten Comics & Graphic Novels of Fall 2012“:

“Ellen Forney’s Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir is a funny yet harrowing account of her battles with bipolar disorder, from her diagnosis to various trials with medication, as she struggles to get her life in order while maintaining the creative flow she fears may be tied up with her illness. Forney’s perceptive, lively art keeps the story fresh.”

Keep an eye out for my events in November! And, exciting: the launch will be Sat., Nov. 10 at 7pm in the Microsoft Auditorium (yay!) at the Central Library downtown.

Summer Classes For Teen ‘Toonists

Teen cartoonists, and parents of teen cartoonists! Time to sign up for summer comics classes at Cornish! Fun! Plus, several students in my current classes at Cornish were students at my summer classes at Cornish, just sayin’.

Comics Studio

Ellen Forney

July 9 – 27, M W, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Ages 15 – 18

Create your own comics! Students will learn basic skills including writing, drawing, crafting stories, developing characters, lettering, and page design.

Scholarships are available. Housing is available. Questions: summer@cornish.edu (206)726-5148