|RIP Robin Williams by Jim Mahfood|
We were all extremely saddened to learn of the passing of comedic genius and Oscar-winning dramatic actor Robin Williams yesterday. I resisted reading any news of it while I was at work, hoping it was some kind of hoax. But eventually reports began reaching mainstream news outlets, with independent verification that the Sheriff's Office in Marin County was calling it a suicide.
I'm not gonna launch into a list of Williams' film and tv credits, which you likely already know. The man was a freaking icon. I'm not going to echo at length the obvious sentiment that we will miss his gift. He has made his contribution to popular culture, and I'm thankful for that. But I want to take this moment to talk about something else.
Williams' untimely death underscores the prevalence of depression in our culture, particularly among creative people. Often, we attribute depression to a lack of success in our creative careers, but even then it is just hiding behind our insecurities. Obviously, Robin Williams was not struggling in his career. He was well-loved, revered, and wealthy. None of these things was any defense against the specter of Depression, a shape-shifter that puts on whatever mask is readily available and robs us of the joy of our relationships and achievements. As someone currently trying to figure out how best to overcome depression, I have seen firsthand the impact it can have. Depression cuts short many brilliant careers, and breaks up happy families. In cases like this and countless others, it takes our very lives.
Ideally, the last paragraph of this post would offer some relief to those battling depression. Sadly, I have no answers. Even if I did, I know how depression flows around reason to create impenetrable rationales for its continued presence. All I can say to those going through it is keep fighting. It's totally worth the effort. Despite what you may be feeling, there are people in your life that love you and really like having you around. Figure out who those people are, and lean on them when you get tired.
Samax Amen draws people, places and things for fun and profit. He is the artist of many great comics you never heard of like Herman Heed, Champion of Children, The Brother and The World As You Know It. He even writes and draws his own comics, like Dare: The Adventures of Darius Davidson, Spontaneous, and Manchild when he gets around to it. Because making comics is hard and stuff, he started GhettoManga as a blog in 2006 and as a print magazine in 2008.
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