Towards a Network of Graphic Care: The Comics, Comments, and Communities of Instagram


This article examines the intersection of comics, mental illness, and social media and explores how platform users are using the mental health-focused webcomics of Instagram to form networks of self- and collective care. The author outlines the trajectory of Canadian mental illness-related comics, discusses the function of social media-based support systems, and highlights how comics may be used as legitimate mental health resources in both present and post-Covid contexts. By examining the anxiety-focused Instagram comics of Montreal illustrator Sandra Dumais, the article emphasizes that the affordances of mental health webcomics are not limited to their representation of often-inexplicable mental illness symptoms. Rather, the author argues that mental health comics, specifically those posted to social networking sites like Instagram, provide platform users with a space for sharing their stories, offering support, and creating grassroots communities based in mutual experience. 

This article “Towards a Network of Graphic Care: The Comics, Comments, and Communities of Instagram” originally appeared in Pasts, Presents, and Futures of Canadian Comics Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 249 (2022): 99-114.

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