Library invites graphic artist with bipolar disorder to speak

Ellen Forney is expected to talk about how cartooning fits in well with depicting manic depression.

Ellen Forney

Ellen Forney

Musicians, artists and scientists are just a few examples of the variety of people the Everett Public Library invites to participate in its ongoing series of free public events.

Yet the decision to invite Ellen Forney, a Seattle artist whose work includes two graphic books on her diagnosis and treatment for bipolar disorder, may be something of a first.

“It never occurred to us,” said librarian Cameron Johnson. In part because there’s also never been someone as accessible on the topic as Forney “to pry that door open so we can actually talk about this stuff,” he said.

It was a recommendation from another staff member who had attended one of Forney’s workshops that led to the library’s invitation. The event is scheduled for 2 p.m. June 10 in the main library’s auditorium.

“I expect her to talk about how cartooning fits in well with depicting the moods of manic depression,” Johnson said.

“If you look at her books, it’s pretty extraordinary. It’s almost cinematic in its treatment of how to take light and dark and turn it into a mood, and she does it beautifully.”

The books are darkly humorous.

“It took a lot of guts for her to put this stuff out there,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot of stigma around mental illness, and she has turned it into an art form.”

Grants from The Friends of the Everett Public Library help pay for its ongoing free programming, with about 30 events each year. The programming takes a break in the summer, resuming again after Labor Day.

The upcoming schedule includes a Sept. 22 performance by a North Carolina musician who plays the double neck guitar; the author of a book on the creation of the North Cascades National Park on Sept. 29; a University of Washington physician who volunteers with Doctors Without Borders on Oct. 21; and a two-day celebration of all things Frankenstein on Oct. 27 and 28.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or

Talk to us

More in Life

CloZee performs during the second day of Summer Meltdown on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in Darrington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The psychedelic fest Summer Meltdown is back — and in Monroe

The music and camping event is on for July 28-31, with a new venue along the Skykomish River.

Veteran Keith F. Reyes, 64, gets his monthly pedicure at Nail Flare on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021 in Stanwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No more gnarly feet: This ‘Wounded Warrior’ gets pedicures

Keith Reyes, 64, visits a Stanwood nail salon for “foot treatments” that help soothe blast injuries.

Enumclaw, the band
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Most of these venues require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or negative… Continue reading

Does this ring a “Belle”? Storied anime writer-director Mamoru Hosoda’s newest resets “Beauty and the Beast” in a musical, virtual environment — among other modern twists. (GKIDS/TNS)
‘Belle’ is striking virtual reality riff on ‘Beauty and the Beast’

In it, ‘Beauty’ is the charismatic online avatar of a moody teenager that attracts the attention of a bruised and brooding Beast

"Redeeming Love"
Movie review: ‘Redeeming Love’ doesn’t yield cinematic riches

The story, about a sex worker “redeemed” by a folksy farmer in Gold Rush-era California, is creepy “tradwife” fan fiction.

Eggs Florentine
Baked Eggs Florentine: A brunch favorite inspired by a queen

The kitchen manager at Quil Ceda Creek Casino shares a dish that pays homage to a spinach-crazy 16th century monarch.

Jennifer Bardsley, author of her newest book Good Catch, at her home on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Edmonds, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds author transitions from young adult novels to romance

Jennifer Bardsley’s “Good Catch” is set in an Edmonds-like town. Spoiler alert: There’s a happy ending.

Caption: They might be too old for lunch box notes, but teenagers benefit from TLC too.
Fun ways to show the teens in your life that you care

The teen years can be challenging but they don’t last long. A little bit of extra attention can go a long way.

This easy-to-make spinach and mushroom quiche is perfect for a light dinner or fancy brunch. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)
Gretchen’s table: A spinach-mushroom quiche with cheesy goodness

The savory egg custard baked in a pie crust is easy to make — especially if you use a refrigerated crust.

Most Read