Brent Williams was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1958. He built his career in community law, creating services and resources to help vulnerable people – particularly children, young people, and victims of family violence. Korkut Öztekin was born in 1976 in Izmir, Turkey. He completed a degree in graphic design at Bilkent University in 2005, and went on to gain his Masters at Dokuz Eylül University in 2009. Korkut worked on Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: The Dark Watch series as supportive artist to Tom Garcia, and recently was the lead artist in Frank Miller’s RoboCop: Last Stand series.
Today I'm going to be sharing with you a book I desperately needed
and wanted to write about ASAP. I received this book on Saturday
morning I believe and within half an hour I had finished it; it got
me hooked and I couldn't stop until I finished it. I received an
email about this book last week and needed to get my hands on it;
as a depression and anxiety sufferer I wanted to see the way it was
written and how it would give myself both courage and hope after
reading the reviews which other Authors give on the book. Something
I didn't realise about this book was how it was illustrated; I was
expecting it to be written like a fiction book; a story as such.
Instead I was presented with beautifully illustrated drawings in
the style of a comic; but it told a story. This book brings to life
the mental process someone has when they have depression and
anxiety and when you're reading this book and suffer from these
illnesses; it makes you realise how real it really is and it
explains the thought processes you're having. Half the time I can't
explain them myself, it's something rather difficult to put into
words however Brent Williams did an incredible job of doing this on
behalf of so many people, such as myself.Brent Williams himself
suffered with Depression and Anxiety and he brought to life the way
he thought and the way he dealt with the illness; in a way it would
help people to understand these illnesses if they do not suffer
from them; or if you suffer with them and have absolutely no idea
how to overcome them. I cannot explain how important this book is.
It's pretty much a practical guide handed to you on how to think it
through and understand it yourself. It provides a way of
understanding that people shouldn't try and rush out of this by
dealing with it, but instead taking small steps to build up the
recovery instead of making it worse in the long run. As an
inspiring story; I couldn't recommend this book enough. It's
beautiful in illustrations from Krokut Oztekin and writing from
Brent Williams. He definitely couldn't have made it any easier for
someone who has to also deal with these illnesses on a daily basis.
I would re-read this book every single day; I recommend it to
everyone whether you have these illnesses or not; you may know
someone who does and could help them if you read this. Out of five,
I'd give this book a 10; I loved it.
"This is as clear, accurate and sympathetic a description of major depression and how to
emerge from it as I have ever seen."
*author, Depressive Illness*
"If one person's journey is told really well, it becomes universal. This book does just that -
and will give courage and hope to many many sufferers."
*Professor Mark Williams,*
"A brave, important book."
*Professor Robert Sapolsky*
"Ultimately a journey of redemption, growth and hope that could provide an invaluable
lifeline to those experiencing depression and those at a loss to understand what their
loved ones are going through."
*Dr. Ben Beaglehole*
"Beautifully illustrated, clearly written, genuine, compelling."
*Asst. Professor Patricia L. Gerbarg MD*
As some of you who regularly read my blog know, I suffer from depression and anxiety and have done since childhood. I have shared a few posts about it on this blog and plan on sharing more in future. It can be difficult discussing something so personal that for some reason still holds so much stigma, so when someone does discuss it, I have so much admiration for them. Brent Williams new book is brave, unique and very much needed.Brent begins by detailing his initial feelings of helplessness, hacking his way through the heart of a dark, overgrown and overbearing forest, trying to find his way out to freedom again. Brent really nailed the descriptions of what it feels like to have depression and anxiety. As I initially flipped through it on arrival I found myself nodding along and agreeing with what he had written. I related to it so much. I don't normally enjoy graphic novels, but this one really appealed to me because of the subject matter. Within a couple of pages I was totally hooked. I've included some photos of the pages as I wanted to show you how amazing these illustrations truly are. As an illustrator myself, I can only imagine taking on the huge task of hand drawing and painting 700 illustrations. Korkut Oztekin's work is so moving, expressive and perfectly compliments Brent's words. I recommend checking out Oztekin's other work. I don't want to spoil the book for you by revealing too much of what happens, but I will say you go on a real journey with Brent in this book. At times I wanted to cry, not only for the unfairness of his story but for the unfairness for all of us who suffer from mental illness. It made me think about my own journey and how far I've come and how far left there still is too climb. Not only would Out Of The Woods appeal to book lovers but also to those who struggle with big blocks of text, it can be hard to focus on heavy going books when you are suffering from depression, sometimes you just can't concentrate. Something else that I think is great about this book is that it could be read by both older and younger audiences. I discovered I had depression at a very young age and I think this book would have really helped me understand and explore the feelings I was having as opposed to some of the heavy going books I read at the time. As well as being the perfect book for those suffering, it would also be great for friends and family to borrow or buy to better understand the feelings and actions of having a mental illness. The images almost make the words sink in better. I highly recommend this book if you are suffering from a mental illness or just want to clue yourself up. It's a beautifully designed hardback book and is an interesting, deeply personal, fresh take on the usual books about depression. I feel very lucky to have been given the chance to review this for my blog and I shall treasure the copy that was sent to me.
Life, is just not perfect. I am blessed to get to write about wonderful things, wonderful events, and beautiful places and people. All positive all the time. But life isn’t all roses. Life gets hard. My husband has been going through a hard time, he’s been a little depressed, and I can tell he’s been anxious and such too. It’s by no means anything life threatening, but as he’s kind of hidden himself away from people, and just plain down. Just like everyone else, he has his own tough things to get through. But life has gotten to him as of late, and he’s let it affect him too. I’m thankful that he talks to me and tells me his feelings.. You’d think he’s a millennial or something.. ha ha…Anyway, I was asked to take a look at a book. Actually, it’s a graphic novel. Out of the Woods – a Graphic Memoir to help people understand and overcome depression and anxiety…This beautifully illustrated book is simply one man’s journey through and out of depression. It talks about how he felt in a very relatable way, how his situation affected those around him, and about what ideas worked and what didn’t work on his road to recovery.
The book makes offers simple descriptions on how depression reinforces negative pathways in the brain, suggests how to objectify them, and really lets the reader know that this is a condition, not just something that defines a person. So, here’s the thing, my husband grabbed the book right away and read it within an evening. He was looking for help. The book talks about everything from dietary supplements, to therapy, to getting enough sleep and exercise, to socializing and dealing with anxiety attacks. Once he was finished, my husband flipped through it with me, telling me what affects him, and what didn’t, and telling me his plan to getting better. Wow. wow. I mean, this is just a hardcover comic book. Is it supposed to do that? Can reading about someone else’s issues solve your own? You know what? It’s been a week, and life has already been a little sweeter, a little more lovely, and a lot less anxious. If a man in your life is having a hard time, if he feels down, reclusive, anxious and the like, and if he just needs a little nudge, this book is well worth the cost. The purchase is cheaper than a half hour of therapy, and might just change your life…..and his too.
Out of the Woods is a graphic novel describing Brent Williams’ personal journey through depression. However, this is not a sterile clinical vignette. Rather, this is a compelling tale with depth of character and drama that captures the reader’s attention until the end. I was previously sceptical about the graphic novel genre but I couldn’t put Out of the Woods down. The sparse, economical use of language is brilliantly complemented by Korkut Öztekin’s atmospheric illustrations. The result is much more than a written story. Part movie, part series of paintings, part novel; the synergy of prose and picture is a powerful combination. Korkut Öztekin has previously illustrated Frank Miller’s Robocop series. His stylized drawings are well suited to depict Brent’s experience of depression. The use of colour and tone sink the reader into Brent’s blackest moments and provide relief when they signal his shift into wellness and recovery. As a graphic novel, Out of the Woods deserves reading in its own right. It also serves other purposes. For readers with personal experience of depression, Out of the Woods lets you know that you are not alone. It serves as a beacon for recovery. The description of psychotherapy is spot on and the presence of a General Practitioner reminds readers that medicine is much more than the prescription of antidepressants. Out of the Woods also has a role in educating others about depression. Family members, the public, doctors of all types and health care providers will all benefit from it. Out of the Woods is ideally suited for registrars, particularly if the meaning of depression has been lost in waves of morbidity and repeated presentations. It has the capacity to transform understanding of depression from a stereotyped clinical entity to a nuanced, powerful, affliction. Out of the Woods also informs about neurobiology, behavioural activation, mindfulness, psychodynamic therapy and much more. An accurate and comprehensive overview of depression is embedded within the graphic novel without the sterility of a textbook. Out of the Woods exceeds expectations on so many levels. I endorse it heartily. Read it, use it, and share it with others.