why float comic book

I’ve been wanting to do an autobiographical graphic novel for a long time. For years, I had been playing with the idea of the Glass Ceiling and my struggles with breaking through. The entire idea of breaking through is a concept that I’ve put upon myself over my career. In doing so, I created this pain and the inevitable fallout. Then I realized a big part of this never-ending cycle was exacerbated by anxiety.

When I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, the diagnosis offered me so many answers to re-occurring problems in my life. I was able to give a name to my pain and begin to understand choices in my life that could be traced back to its symptoms.

Recently, my anxiety worsened and flying on a plane became a frightening experience. I felt trapped inside my mind and my panicked worries took over completely. The anxiety attacks became more frequent. I knew it was time to use my art as therapy and finally deal with this mental illness on paper.

Float is my unique view of anxiety. It affects approximately 44 million people and I’m one of them. This is my story. It’s told through three stand-in main characters acting as my voice. I’ve decided to make my anxiety a lead character. He’s charismatic, sexy and a manipulative, destructive villain.

Creating Float has been therapeutic. Artistically, I’ve never challenged myself more. I’m using all-new art styles and integrating poetry into the writing. Some of the book reads like song lyrics. It all comprises a unique reading experience.

Anxiety can drown its victims. It covers its host in darkness and misery. You worry about the death of loved ones for no reason, and small, inconsequential challenges become insurmountable roadblocks. Anxiety has thickened and re-enforced the Glass Ceiling that I perceive over my head.

Float is my answer. I’m exposing anxiety’s effects on my life to take away some of its power and control. I will no longer be alone in this fight. My family, friends and readers will know what it’s done to me. And they will know I’m not letting it win.

I’m fighting back. I’m not going to drown. I’m going to Float.

 

  • This is going to be AMAZING. ✨

  • Raven Quinn

    Can’t wait!!! This is gonna be AMAZING. ✨

    • Thank you, Raven! I’m excited for you to see the complete project.

  • This book will be so good. I can’t wait to read it. I know it’s a passion project. I wish you good luck with this book. It will be great.

  • Allison Walker Payne

    Recently I was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum (first time disclosing) and I know what a relief it is to be able to say, “oh, THAT’S why…”. From my point of view, I don’t look at it as illness, but, for you, as an incredible creative fuel – I mean, it’s so cool that you are using your anxiety as a way to take away its control on you in such an ingenious way. I also think that your work will raise up others – I know I have been continually inspired by your art, and this is going to be like a rocket. It’s hard to explain, but I see you as harnessing and taming the malevolent character, and making it possible for others to see that they can as well. So, you know, thanks!

    • Thank you, Allison! The diagnosis helped me so much because I finally had answers. I thought everyone had constant irrational fears like me. Float helps me work out these issues and let others know they’re not alone. So far, the process has been so fulfilling. And it’s only the beginning.

  • Nancy Fortin

    This is so inspiring, Howie. I too have anxiety/panic disorder and have gone to the hospital multiple times thinking I was having a heart attack. It is a debilitating illness, and it makes you feel like you are not normal. I am so glad that you are taking a stand and taking back your life. Thanks for sharing with us!!!!

    • It is, Nancy. I hope to shed some light on my experiences and prove it’s okay to discuss these things.

      • Nancy Fortin

        Definitely! It has been labeled as taboo to talk about for too long! People shouldn’t be afraid to admit they suffer from anxiety.

  • Heather Dee

    Anxiety is the major chain in my life as well. Can’t wait to see how it all comes out. This is going to back epic!

    • Thank you, Heather! I’ll be sharing new page this week to this blog.

  • Christina

    Can not wait for this , anxiety is a problem I also deal with and can become a controller in my life. To read your experience may help myself and others learn to cope with their own anxiety. Thank you for sharing this personal part of your life .

    • Thank you, Chrissy. It’s hard to share something so personal so I hope by doing this others will relate. It’s helping me. I’ll be adding a lot of tips to handling anxiety as well as guest writers sharing their experiences.

  • Ryan McLelland

    As someone who not only loves your work but also deals with my own panic, anxiety, and problems with crowds…I can’t wait to see what you do. I’m so excited.

    • Thank you, Ryan! Greatly appreciate it

  • Deborah

    I get it Howie. I struggle with anxiety and depression. I can’t wait to get it. By bringing attention to this problem it will help someone! Good job!

  • Deborah

    I think it’s great what your doing. I have anxiety and have depression. This will help people not be afraid and not hide. Good job Howie!

  • Walt Curley

    I’m greatly looking forward to reading this. I know anxiety very well. I try to hide my own unique relationship with it. I’m very much looking forward to reading about your own relationship with it.

    • Thank you, Walt! Preview pages and new art will start to roll out this week here in the Making Of section.

  • Heather Robinson

    I am truly excited about this. So many see anxieties as an enemy who should not be named. ♡

  • Charity Stiefel Weinschenk

    I had severe anxiety for a few years. It took me a while to overcome most of it, although I still cannot do large crowds. My main help was mentally telling myself “it’s not my problem” and working on not caring what others think. It’s a daily struggle and now I’m seeing it start with my kid. It’s different for different people, but the lack of fun living and missing out on opportunities is real. The loss of friends, the self-quarantine and depression is real. Knowing you’re not alone is so helpful.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. I wish I had known as a child what I know now about anxiety. I know it is hereditary too. Luckily you have strength and knowledge which you can pass on to your child. ❤

  • Patty Blatt

    My daughter will love this , she also suffers with anxiety..

  • patheticempathetic

    As a sufferer of severe anxiety and ptsd, I firstly want to applaud you for being open about A subject that is so very difficult to articulate, especially in a society that expects us at all times to put on a brave face. Secondly I want to thank you for your bravery, and for your honesty, And send my undying love.

    • Thank you very much, my friend. Part of the immense challenge of creating Float, is showing my weakness and my lowest points. Thank you for understanding so well. 💜