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Bird Brain: Comics About Mental Health, Starring Pigeons

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Bird Brain is a collection of brutally honest, brilliantly weird comics exploring what it’s like to live with mental illness . . . using pigeons. When Chuck Mullin began experiencing anxiety and depression as a teenager, she started drawing comics to help her make sense of the rollercoaster. Eventually, she found that pigeons—lovably quirky, yet universally reviled Bird Brain is a collection of brutally honest, brilliantly weird comics exploring what it’s like to live with mental illness . . . using pigeons. When Chuck Mullin began experiencing anxiety and depression as a teenager, she started drawing comics to help her make sense of the rollercoaster. Eventually, she found that pigeons—lovably quirky, yet universally reviled creatures—were the ideal subjects of a comic about mental illness. Organized in three sections—"Bad Times," "Relationships," and "Positivity"—and featuring several short essays about the author’s experiences, Bird Brain is a highly relatable, chuckle-inducing, and ultimately uplifting collection of comics for anyone who has struggled to maintain their mental health.    


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Bird Brain is a collection of brutally honest, brilliantly weird comics exploring what it’s like to live with mental illness . . . using pigeons. When Chuck Mullin began experiencing anxiety and depression as a teenager, she started drawing comics to help her make sense of the rollercoaster. Eventually, she found that pigeons—lovably quirky, yet universally reviled Bird Brain is a collection of brutally honest, brilliantly weird comics exploring what it’s like to live with mental illness . . . using pigeons. When Chuck Mullin began experiencing anxiety and depression as a teenager, she started drawing comics to help her make sense of the rollercoaster. Eventually, she found that pigeons—lovably quirky, yet universally reviled creatures—were the ideal subjects of a comic about mental illness. Organized in three sections—"Bad Times," "Relationships," and "Positivity"—and featuring several short essays about the author’s experiences, Bird Brain is a highly relatable, chuckle-inducing, and ultimately uplifting collection of comics for anyone who has struggled to maintain their mental health.    

30 review for Bird Brain: Comics About Mental Health, Starring Pigeons

  1. 4 out of 5

    MischaS_

    ***Advance Review Copy generously provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*** Maybe all of us have a little pigeon inside of us, who knows, so, be kinder to them next time you see them running around a square, looking for something to eat. Well, I've sort of liked this. The art is not really my cup of tea, and I have to say that unfortunately, this comics does not really stand up to the qualities of similar comics. I was not previously familiar with the author and I'm still ***Advance Review Copy generously provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*** Maybe all of us have a little pigeon inside of us, who knows, so, be kinder to them next time you see them running around a square, looking for something to eat. Well, I've sort of liked this. The art is not really my cup of tea, and I have to say that unfortunately, this comics does not really stand up to the qualities of similar comics. I was not previously familiar with the author and I'm still trying to decide whether I'm going to follow his current work. However, I think the visual portrayal of depression is well done, as well as the side effects. It's strange to mark this as something positive, but I think that the author did a fabulous job with this. It was not something I've expected when I opened this book and it ended up being the strongest point of this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    I wasn’t familiar with Chuck Mullin’s pigeon comics on Instagram but found the cover and premise of this book to be inviting. I expected it to filled with comics but ultimately got so much more. Interspersed between the comics are short essays revealing Chuck Mullin’s personal experiences with mental illness: what it feels like, how it affects your life and how to cope with it and feel better. The essays are very honest, relatable and heartfelt. Mullin takes a serious subject but is able to I wasn’t familiar with Chuck Mullin’s pigeon comics on Instagram but found the cover and premise of this book to be inviting. I expected it to filled with comics but ultimately got so much more. Interspersed between the comics are short essays revealing Chuck Mullin’s personal experiences with mental illness: what it feels like, how it affects your life and how to cope with it and feel better. The essays are very honest, relatable and heartfelt. Mullin takes a serious subject but is able to discuss it, through words and pictures, in a friendly and inspirational way that will at times put a smile on your face. I was curious as to the choice of pigeons for the comic. Mullin explains overhearing a couple commenting on the pigeons nearby, saying they are “rats with wings.” She felt bad for the pigeons, imagining them being insulted and feeling awful about themselves, and went home and doodled about it. The response to the comic was so positive that she continued drawing pigeons. I thought about a deeper meaning for the use of pigeons to illustrate her struggle with mental illness. If you have lived in a city, you know that if you walk by pigeons and yell SHOOO or make some loud noise, they will fly away. Pigeons are very sensitive. Also, the notion of flying away to escape negative situations and/or feelings seems apropos. I am reminded of the flight or fight response to a perceived threat. So maybe it was by chance that Mullin chose pigeons but I think they are well suited to the task. The book is divided into three sections - Bad Times, Relationships and Positivity. While I understand the logical sequence of starting with depression and building up to feeling better, it was tough to read. To put it bluntly, I found the first section to be very depressing, showing how bad things can get. Note that It actually shows the skills of the author to so perfectly capture what it feels like when one is anxious or depressed. She really nails it! Bird Brain is a very honest yet entertaining look at mental illness - what it feels like, how to cope and ultimately how to feel better. The comics can be funny and witty but this little book carries a big message — you are not alone and it is possible to feel better. It is filled with practical advice and is a much needed resource in this day and age when mental illness can be misunderstood. Besides discussing medication, the importance of support and self-care, we also learn about finding small moments of happiness. Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

  3. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I loved Chuck Mullin's little pigeon comics, so when I saw that she was releasing this collection, I jumped at the chance to read it — and I'm so glad I did. The comics are spaced out with a couple of pages here and there that tell the author's own story with her mental illness, treatment, and her journey to the self-love she's begun to find for herself, and it's really wonderful and touching. I definitely teared up a few times over how much I related to her thoughts and worries, but it was also I loved Chuck Mullin's little pigeon comics, so when I saw that she was releasing this collection, I jumped at the chance to read it — and I'm so glad I did. The comics are spaced out with a couple of pages here and there that tell the author's own story with her mental illness, treatment, and her journey to the self-love she's begun to find for herself, and it's really wonderful and touching. I definitely teared up a few times over how much I related to her thoughts and worries, but it was also so comforting to see that she's found things that work for her, and it gives me hope that I can find things that work for me, too. (I've even opted to steal a few of her ideas, like saying one kind thing to yourself in the mirror every day) If you struggle with mental illness at all, especially anxiety and depression, I can't recommend this collection enough. You'll laugh, you'll get all kinds of Feels™, and I can almost guarantee you'll love these little anxious pigeons as much as I did. Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Evelina | AvalinahsBooks

    How I read this: Free ebook copy received through Edelweiss I love the pigeon comics, who doesn't? So of course I grabbed Bird Brain like three seconds after I saw it available on Edelweiss. Didn't even read the blurb. And because of that, I was expecting something much lighter, maybe just an anthology of the comics up to this point - I've read some of those for other we'll loved online comics. They're usually great. What I didn't expect though, is an incredibly open, heart-wrenching and tea How I read this: Free ebook copy received through Edelweiss I love the pigeon comics, who doesn't? So of course I grabbed Bird Brain like three seconds after I saw it available on Edelweiss. Didn't even read the blurb. And because of that, I was expecting something much lighter, maybe just an anthology of the comics up to this point - I've read some of those for other we'll loved online comics. They're usually great. What I didn't expect though, is an incredibly open, heart-wrenching and tea jerking short essay collection, interspersed with said comics. And I'm not having the best of days myself, so in case I'm not making it clear enough: IT WAS GREAT. Based on the little essays and how relatable they are, I am beginning to think that all people who have anxiety (yours truly included) have THE SAME demon sitting on their shoulder. It's surprising to think that some of the words by the author, entire paragraphs even, could be word for word transcriptions of what MY anxiety says to ME. Why do we all still listen to this demon? I don't know. But I'm glad that at least we can sometimes be reminded that we're not alone, feeling like that. And that's precisely what this book is for. It's not glaringly positive and it won't motivate you into feeling better. It's real and it won't lie to you - mental illness is not some easy, short phase. But reading Bird Brain will help you feel less alone. And maybe even make you smile a little. I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion. Book Blog | Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura Ungureanu

    I also have a thing for pigeons. I honestly thought I was the only one. In this amazing work, the author tells about dealing with her mental illness. The pigeon drawings were sort of a therapy. I guess that people have to do whatever makes them happy. The author's excitement for this book is so lovely considering that the reader is aware of her anxiety. It's almost as if I know her, as if we could be friends. Besides telling her story, the author provides a lot of information on mental illness. I also have a thing for pigeons. I honestly thought I was the only one. In this amazing work, the author tells about dealing with her mental illness. The pigeon drawings were sort of a therapy. I guess that people have to do whatever makes them happy. The author's excitement for this book is so lovely considering that the reader is aware of her anxiety. It's almost as if I know her, as if we could be friends. Besides telling her story, the author provides a lot of information on mental illness. I've never heard of dissociative episodes until this book. Even if you don't experience anxiety, everyone could use reading this book just to understand that many people you love could be suffering from it and that's ok. The drawings were very entertaining to follow. I could relate to many things told in this book and I'm glad I'm not alone in this. "Improvement is not a linear process."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    I received a copy of Bird Brain through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Bird Brain is a charming collection of Chuck Mullin's works. Her comics are deeply personal, as she documents her struggles with anxiety and depression. And hopefully writing these comics helped her own those a bit too, giving her a bit more control in her life. These comics are chuckle working, of course. But they'll also resonate with many readers out there. And that is why this collection is so I received a copy of Bird Brain through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Bird Brain is a charming collection of Chuck Mullin's works. Her comics are deeply personal, as she documents her struggles with anxiety and depression. And hopefully writing these comics helped her own those a bit too, giving her a bit more control in her life. These comics are chuckle working, of course. But they'll also resonate with many readers out there. And that is why this collection is so absolutely wonderful. There's something so powerful about being able to read light comics such as these, and then seeing them touch upon some of the toughest things in our lives. Obviously, I loved these comics. They were a combination of quirky and charming. They were brutally open and honest at times, but that added to the charm in many ways. There's something so refreshing about it all. The art style is another strong element in this series. The characters are all birds, which seems like an odd decision. But their avian characteristics blended well with the plots of each minicomic, and perhaps allow us to take a step back from the brutality that can sometimes come with these struggles. Plus, they're cute. It doesn't have to be much more than that, does it? I adore the little birds and all of their quirks. There's something silly, but charming about them. Finally, I love the way this collection was organized. It's cut into three main sections – four if you count the conclusion. Bad Times, Relationships, and Positivity. The flow and grouping of these comics are perfect. I loved Bird Brain and every comic within this collection. Though I obviously loved some more than others, I also really enjoyed the collection as a whole. I'm looking forward to seeing more from Chuck Mullin in the future. For more reviews check out Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Everyone has to find a way to cope with the things that bother us in life. Chuck's way to do this was to draw how she felt in different situations, but as a bird. She tackles family, friends, work, anxiety. It is a tough world out there, and not all meds help the same way. It is a bit repedetive, but that is probably because it isn't always easy to pull oneself out of the illness. This should allow others with the same anxiety and mental health problems a good place to connect Not a coffee table Everyone has to find a way to cope with the things that bother us in life. Chuck's way to do this was to draw how she felt in different situations, but as a bird. She tackles family, friends, work, anxiety. It is a tough world out there, and not all meds help the same way. It is a bit repedetive, but that is probably because it isn't always easy to pull oneself out of the illness. This should allow others with the same anxiety and mental health problems a good place to connect Not a coffee table book. . Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly ...

    Mental Illness is a topic that isn’t discussed enough. People do not understand it. They lack empathy and are not sympathetic towards those who suffer. About 20 years ago I struggled with depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I have been lucky in that we found a medication that works with few side effects. My son has sever anxiety as does his partner. I have so many friends and family who suffer ... many in silence. We must do better. This little graphic book is written by a young woman in Mental Illness is a topic that isn’t discussed enough. People do not understand it. They lack empathy and are not sympathetic towards those who suffer. About 20 years ago I struggled with depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I have been lucky in that we found a medication that works with few side effects. My son has sever anxiety as does his partner. I have so many friends and family who suffer ... many in silence. We must do better. This little graphic book is written by a young woman in London who suffers. She opened her heart and mind and shared it with us. Her drawings are expressive and and artistic. The vignettes are astute. If you know someone who has difficulty understanding what a loved one is experiencing, gift them this book. It releases on 19 November.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Long

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely loved this book. The comics and short essays were very relatable and well written. The author gives an honest view of the struggles that anxiety and depression can throw at you.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Pole

    Bird Brain by Chuck Mullin is a detailed personal reflection on the author's experience of social anxiety and mental illness, as charmingly portrayed by pigeons. Yes, you read that correctly. Although I have not read a vast amount of material on the topic of mental illness, this is the most illuminating, honest, and personal account that I have experienced. Presented through alternating essays and comic strips, the latter featuring said pigeons, I was unprepared for just how relatable so much of Bird Brain by Chuck Mullin is a detailed personal reflection on the author's experience of social anxiety and mental illness, as charmingly portrayed by pigeons. Yes, you read that correctly. Although I have not read a vast amount of material on the topic of mental illness, this is the most illuminating, honest, and personal account that I have experienced. Presented through alternating essays and comic strips, the latter featuring said pigeons, I was unprepared for just how relatable so much of the material was and, as a result, this book really resonated with me. I firmly believe that most readers will find the same as they see themselves reflected on these pages. This book provides an often humorous look at a weighty topic, and I am pleased that the author has found a creative outlet that will surely inspire others. It is heartening to see that the book moves in the direction of positivity and hope. And who doesn't love a googly-eyed pigeon? Recommended. Many thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for this ARC,

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mehsi

    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. I have been reading Bird Brains comics for some time now ever since I saw them pop up on my feed when they were retweeted by someone else. I fell in love with the style (the pigeon with floating eyes), but also with the comics and what they told/what they are about. Because these comics are about mental health. In this book it is done in sections, we see how it all started, how it got worse, how things were not good, and how I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. I have been reading Bird Brains comics for some time now ever since I saw them pop up on my feed when they were retweeted by someone else. I fell in love with the style (the pigeon with floating eyes), but also with the comics and what they told/what they are about. Because these comics are about mental health. In this book it is done in sections, we see how it all started, how it got worse, how things were not good, and how there was a note of positivity at the end. It wasn't always easy to read due how bad things got, and to see the darkness just swallow up everything. See the desperation in the pigeon. Though I got a smile at the last comics which showed us that it was getting better, slowly, but you could see more sunshine, more happiness, and that made me happy. However.... I came for comics, I thought it was only comics (bundled from online), but there were also essays/written parts. And sorry, while they were good and I thought the author was very brave to write those down next to the comics, I soon skipped them. Again, I came for comics, I wasn't in the mood for 2-3 page long essays/written parts. Hopefully this doesn't offend anyone, and otherwise sorry. Maybe one day I will read this book again and then I will read the written parts. All in all, I am still very happy I tried this book and I will definitely keep on supporting the author/illustrator, and I want to wish them all the best, I hope there will be more and more happiness and positivity in their life. Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

  12. 5 out of 5

    Oldřiška

    I expected a book with just comic strips, but Bird Brain is actually interwoven with short essays. The comic strips and the text accompany each other very well and I think the amount of each is perfect. The book is focused on the mental health journey of the author. The highs, the lows, and the in-betweens. I think that this book is great both for people who have anxiety and those who don't. It could be very beneficial for people who are not mental health aware because the comic strips really I expected a book with just comic strips, but Bird Brain is actually interwoven with short essays. The comic strips and the text accompany each other very well and I think the amount of each is perfect. The book is focused on the mental health journey of the author. The highs, the lows, and the in-betweens. I think that this book is great both for people who have anxiety and those who don't. It could be very beneficial for people who are not mental health aware because the comic strips really provide the gist of how anxiety feels and what it does to a person. The textual intermissions of the author give a reader a better understanding of what she tries to show in the strips too. Maybe it could help someone to understand that people suffer from anxiety and it is not as simple as to say to oneself: I’m going to be happy. And on the other hand, the people who suffer from anxiety or have any experience with it, it is to put it simply, relatable. It is a great feeling to be reassured that no, you are not weird, other people feel the same as you. You are not alone. I'm really happy for the author, and also thankful that she created this book because I think many people will enjoy it. An arc was kindly provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    If anyone is curious about mental illness, whether it's their own or about someone they love, I'd recommend this book. Obviously, it's not a substitute for actual help or medical studies but I feel like it's a more relatable/readable version. Jesus, just reading the foreword and it's like we are the same person. I've never been able to really talk to people about my anxiety, I've always just dealt with it myself. I definitely have never been able to articulate quite what anxiety is/feels like so If anyone is curious about mental illness, whether it's their own or about someone they love, I'd recommend this book. Obviously, it's not a substitute for actual help or medical studies but I feel like it's a more relatable/readable version. Jesus, just reading the foreword and it's like we are the same person. I've never been able to really talk to people about my anxiety, I've always just dealt with it myself. I definitely have never been able to articulate quite what anxiety is/feels like so accurately. Most times you say things like "it feels suffocating", or "it feels like I'm drowning" and I think people who don't have it think you must be over-exaggerating but there is a lot of truth in that it can feel like you're drowning, but there is also a lot of nuanced emotions that are there as well. This book is an incredibly raw and personal look at how mental illness looks, and feels, from the inside. The chapters are interspersed with a couple paragraphs explaining the perspective of the chapter of comics. Though I am not nearly as eloquent as the author I will attempt a one line descriptor for this book, "It's like a lighthouse, in the middle of a dark and vast ocean, that let's you know you aren't alone in your struggles."

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lucsbooks

    I initially thought this was gonna be just a collection of comic strips but it ended up being equally divided between them and short essays introducing each chapter’s theme that I ended up being just as in love with. The comic strips are so funny and to my surprise, I even recognized some of them but what made me love them were how honest and easy to identify with they were. It was also really uplifting to see the way that the illustration style and the pidgeon’s own positivity evolved throughout I initially thought this was gonna be just a collection of comic strips but it ended up being equally divided between them and short essays introducing each chapter’s theme that I ended up being just as in love with. The comic strips are so funny and to my surprise, I even recognized some of them but what made me love them were how honest and easy to identify with they were. It was also really uplifting to see the way that the illustration style and the pidgeon’s own positivity evolved throughout the book. It made me hopeful and for that I’m thankful. The text was written in the first person and directed at the reader so while reading this book I felt like I was talking to a friend. I’m so, so happy for Chuck and wish her all the best because that was what she wished me in this book as well. Not only that, this is a super funny book and if it can make you feel a bit down because of the theme, you will have a better grasp of what anxiety feels like after reading it and will probably close this book with a smile. I know I did. Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing and Edelweiss+ for this DRC.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    This book exactly shows what I go through, what I have been through and how hard it can be sometimes. I gave it to my husband to read so I could simply show him how depression affects me. He loved it and chuckled with me at the funny pigeon. I would have never thought in a million years I’d type the words “I can relate to this pigeon on a soul level”. Highly recommend!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    Bird Brain by Chuck Mullin is a collection of comics about mental health and the struggles that happen. I found the comics to be kinda depressing but well drawn. Thanks to netgalley for letting me read this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Heather L.

    I was given a copy of this for review through Netgalley. I was expecting more of a narrative in the comics to tell the author's experiences, but it was more individual comics with blocks of narration. I definitely think this book could be helpful for the right person at the right time.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caro

    Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with a digital Arc in exchange for an honest review! All pictures are taken from the Arc and therefore subject to changes. “Bird Brain is a raw, honest portrayal of what living with a mental illness is like, told through heartwarming comics that are both relatable but also can make you chuckle.” Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars Read this Review on my Blog I’m so glad, that I picked up Bird Brain because it was incredible! I Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with a digital Arc in exchange for an honest review! All pictures are taken from the Arc and therefore subject to changes. 💖 “Bird Brain is a raw, honest portrayal of what living with a mental illness is like, told through heartwarming comics that are both relatable but also can make you chuckle.” 💖 Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars 💗 Read this Review on my Blog 💗 I’m so glad, that I picked up Bird Brain because it was incredible! I heard that it was up on Netgalley and the concept of it immediately drew me in. A comic? About mental health? With pigeons? I was sold immediately and flew through the book during one lazy Sunday afternoon. Let me tell you, Bird Brain is a great comfort read, broken up through texts centered around a topic that breaks up the comics that follow and were right up my alley. There is something comforting about someone understanding what struggling with mental health is like and so many people being able to relate to the comics, that have been around on the Internet beforehand! Here are some of the things I loved about this: ➽ I loved the mix between comics and texts by the author. The book consists of several topics and I liked that this centered the comics around a theme and allowed the author to share her experiences both in text and in her art. Going in I didn’t know that there would be short texts provided by the author, but I feel like they really helped to understand her comics and own perspective on her life with depression and anxiety. ➽ The portrayal of anxiety was so real and relatable to me, as a lot of the comics illustrated what it’s like to think differently from people and fall down a big negative thought spiral. Even the most mundane things like texting can become a huge burden when you’re convinced that everyone hates you. I appreciated the author talking about it so much and also highlighting that you need to challenge these thoughts even though it’s so hard. Her experiences and art resonated within me a lot! ➽ There’s also a focus on the author’s depression (which I cannot talk about, as I don’t personally have it) and her experience with taking medication. I appreciated that she discussed her own experiences with medication, while also making sure she transported that she didn’t speak for everyone and that, of course, different kinds of therapy work for different people. ➽ I loved the art style a lot and especially the author’s choice to depict herself as a pigeon in the comics. She spoke straight to my heart, as – like her – I think that pigeons are pretty misunderstood and often victims of the bad circumstances they live in (like in the city when they don’t get appropriate, healthy food & there is so much overpopulation), but can be kind and gentle animals. [Little Known Fact about me: I’ve always appreciated pigeons and think they can be really cute if cities make an effort to offer them good food and a place to stay. That’s why I resonated with the author’s choice so much because she just got it!] She reclaimed a scorned animal as that’s how she felt as a person with a mental illness and it definitely gave her comics a special meaning! Bonus: The Most Relatable Page of the Book Picture taken from the eArc © Chuck Mullin In the end: I definitely recommend reading Bird Brain, because it has amazing artwork that might make you like pigeons more than you usually do and offers some great insights into the author’s experience dealing with depression and anxiety. I found many parts of her perspective to be so relatable and the comics truly warmed my heart, though they also confronted me with some of the less comfortable truths of having anxiety. You can find me here 💖 Book Blog | Twitter

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    I received Bird Brain in advance of its release, courtesy of Netgalley, in exchange for a fair and honest review. Once that has been put out of the way, I absolutely LOVED this little book! The little comic drawings are pretty cute and funny, but there is much more in this book than just that. The little essays that where put between each part, and sometimes between drawings, the crude explanations of anxiety, it all came together to make this a perfect book for me. Because I suffered from all I received Bird Brain in advance of its release, courtesy of Netgalley, in exchange for a fair and honest review. Once that has been put out of the way, I absolutely LOVED this little book! The little comic drawings are pretty cute and funny, but there is much more in this book than just that. The little essays that where put between each part, and sometimes between drawings, the crude explanations of anxiety, it all came together to make this a perfect book for me. Because I suffered from all this things at one point in my life, and even though not everyone has the exact same experience, I could clearly see myself in those little birds, desperately trying to come out of myself and into a real world of happiness. It is not exactly a happy book, as it goes around delicate topics, however it is one that can help a whole bunch of people to not feel so alone in their illness, to feel that somewhere out there knows (at least in part) how they feel inside. While reading it, I felt I was part of a secret club, one where I could finally belong in and could be heard. And all my past thoughts came back, but this time I felt reassured that I was never alone, that I was loved and I deserved happiness. I’m happy to say that those hard times where left behind for me, but Bird Brain is definitely a book that I would love to share with people I know are struggling so they know they are not alone, as well as people who are perfectly happy, so they can be grateful for that and understand a bit better the other side of the coin. Quote: “I don’t ‘put up’ with you, okay? I’m here because I love you”.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    OMG Sharon, can you not? (Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.) Bird Brain is yet another collection of comics dealing with the unholy trifecta - anxiety, depression, and general social awkwardness - in a decade that seems to have seen an explosion of them. And I'm totally here for it! (Anxiety and depression, my companions since childhood. If only my dog friends could live as long as you!) A millennial Londoner, Chuck Mullin explores her seemingly never-ending OMG Sharon, can you not? (Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.) Bird Brain is yet another collection of comics dealing with the unholy trifecta - anxiety, depression, and general social awkwardness - in a decade that seems to have seen an explosion of them. And I'm totally here for it! (Anxiety and depression, my companions since childhood. If only my dog friends could live as long as you!) A millennial Londoner, Chuck Mullin explores her seemingly never-ending battle with anxiety and depression with humor, self-awareness, and a shit ton of ice cream. The comics in these here pages tackle a range of mental health issues, from the ups and downs of medication, to self-care, to finding moments of victory wherever you can. Why pigeons? She loves them, even though most people don't. They're an unfairly maligned species, and I am down with embracing that vibe. Pigeons are survivors, yo! The strips are divided into three categories - "Bad Times," "Relationships," and "Positivity" - with a personal essay introducing each. The essays are engaging and relatable AF (as much as I don't want them to be, damn you to hell anxiety!), though I didn't love them so much when they pop out at you from between random comics as well. Like, the artwork pretty much speaks for itself, no additional explanations necessary; and sticking more essays in between the comics really interrupts the flow. But I guess you don't have to read them, or can skip theb and come back later. The pigeons won't judge (unless your name is Sharon). http://www.easyvegan.info/2019/12/10/...

  21. 4 out of 5

    JUST ANOTHER ASPIRANT

    The two words that made me grab this book were- Anxiety and graphic novel. The concept behind the book was very thoughtful. Bird brain is an anthology of anxiety, depression and coping up with it. The dilemmas one goes through it has been explained in detail. The book is spaced out with traditional writing of the author's own experience and pigeon comics. The sketches itself help to connect with the character. not very precise perfect painting but like doodles, one would in generally draw (I am The two words that made me grab this book were- Anxiety and graphic novel. The concept behind the book was very thoughtful. Bird brain is an anthology of anxiety, depression and coping up with it. The dilemmas one goes through it has been explained in detail. The book is spaced out with traditional writing of the author's own experience and pigeon comics. The sketches itself help to connect with the character. not very precise perfect painting but like doodles, one would in generally draw (I am not good at painting so too much of artistic develops a sense of alienation). The writings are full of honesty, no unwanted unrealistic heroism. "rising up and slipping back rising up again"- that this process is normal and absolutely ok to have it is portrayed. There's a sense of warm hug in the book. I haven't read many books on mental health because sometimes they leave me with a stinging pain this book has been a savior and gives hope to live a beautiful life. I would have loved a bit more detailed readings on positivity and coping up. it seemed to end in a hurry and abruptly.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mere

    Half comic, half written, this book is a self reflection by the author on their life dealing with mental illness. It is both heartbreaking, and heartwarming. In general, it showed the many facets of Mullin's mental illness, and it will certainly be relatable in parts to some. It was also humorous in parts, and that helped relieve some of the tension within the book itself. I think using a pigeon relating back to a story they tell, was well done. It flows in a way that really works. Mullin also Half comic, half written, this book is a self reflection by the author on their life dealing with mental illness. It is both heartbreaking, and heartwarming. In general, it showed the many facets of Mullin's mental illness, and it will certainly be relatable in parts to some. It was also humorous in parts, and that helped relieve some of the tension within the book itself. I think using a pigeon relating back to a story they tell, was well done. It flows in a way that really works. Mullin also talks directly to the reader -- it feels as if you're a close acquaintance or friend. You don't feel alienated by anything they say. I think this book is going to be good for people both with mental illnesses and those without. It is a reminder to those who may be friends with/in a relationship with/related to those with a mental illness that we don't see everything. We don't know everything. Overall, I think this was a well done book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shauna Palmer

    I didn't really know what to expect when I chose to read this book. This book provides insight into the world of mental illness through the pigeon comics and the accompanying personal stories shared by the author. I don't think that any one book can give us a full understanding of mental illness and how to talk about how it effects our lives, but I think this book provides a great starting point for that conversation. I appreciated the comics about how to and how not to approach talking to I didn't really know what to expect when I chose to read this book. This book provides insight into the world of mental illness through the pigeon comics and the accompanying personal stories shared by the author. I don't think that any one book can give us a full understanding of mental illness and how to talk about how it effects our lives, but I think this book provides a great starting point for that conversation. I appreciated the comics about how to and how not to approach talking to someone with a mental illness. I often do not know what to say so to friends and family that suffer from a mental illness. I find myself walking on eggshells around the subject and avoiding talking about it because I don’t want to make it worse. Your comics helped me realize that I shouldn’t be afraid to bring it up and offer support; I just need to be mindful of how I do it. Thank you for sharing your story. #BirdBrain #NetGalley

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ea

    Mental health, but with pigeons. Half comics, half essays on mental health, telling the truth of struggling with mental health, without ever becoming preachy and always staying slightly in the humour-lane, without making light of how actually awful living with mental health-issues is. This is probably the most authentic anxiety-related thing I've read, and it was told in pigeons. Pigeons. I kid you not. The author/artist's short essays on the different "chapters" may have been my favourite part, Mental health, but with pigeons. Half comics, half essays on mental health, telling the truth of struggling with mental health, without ever becoming preachy and always staying slightly in the humour-lane, without making light of how actually awful living with mental health-issues is. This is probably the most authentic anxiety-related thing I've read, and it was told in pigeons. Pigeons. I kid you not. The author/artist's short essays on the different "chapters" may have been my favourite part, though - she really knows how to talk about mental health without making it too.. serious. Does that make sense? Nope. But I loved this and I adore the pigeons and I'll be over here smiling at these cute-as-heck lil' pigeons for the rest of the day. And tomorrow, probably. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I've been a fan of the Instagram account Chuck Draws Things for a long time. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I found a lot to relate to, and sharing drawings of cute little pigeons often made it easier to share my struggles with friends and family rather than just bringing it up out of nowhere. The comics in Bird Brain really cover every part of what it's like to live with anxiety- the struggles that arise, how it impacts relationships with others, and the joy of making progress and I've been a fan of the Instagram account Chuck Draws Things for a long time. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I found a lot to relate to, and sharing drawings of cute little pigeons often made it easier to share my struggles with friends and family rather than just bringing it up out of nowhere. The comics in Bird Brain really cover every part of what it's like to live with anxiety- the struggles that arise, how it impacts relationships with others, and the joy of making progress and coming out the other side of a rough time. Some of the comics might slightly trigger tough memories for readers, but there is so much hope and support within these pages. A funny, relatable read that made me feel less alone.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Well, I didn't expect there to be so much text. I was expecting it to be more like random snippets of a persons life so the blocks of text between transitions explaining the reason the author drew the things they drew took me out of the book and made it less enjoyable. More like a daunting life update of a person you don't even know. The beginning made me feel incredibly uncomfortable, there is little to no positively and just the deep, dark depths of depression, Slowly we see the main character Well, I didn't expect there to be so much text. I was expecting it to be more like random snippets of a persons life so the blocks of text between transitions explaining the reason the author drew the things they drew took me out of the book and made it less enjoyable. More like a daunting life update of a person you don't even know. The beginning made me feel incredibly uncomfortable, there is little to no positively and just the deep, dark depths of depression, Slowly we see the main character develop enough that they are learning how to find/make their own happiness. But those blocks of texts keep pulling me out of the story. I would have liked it a lot more if the text was more integrated with the illustrations and didn't break up the flow so much. I also feel like there was way too much repetition at the beginning of the book, I get that it is about depression and anxiety but it still needs to be enjoyable for the reader so they continue reading and recommend it to there friends. If this was not an ARC copy I probably would have just passed on it after reading the first few segments. I was not a fan of the drawing style. The eyes of the birds really distracted me. I kept thinking why did they draw their eyes off their body??? Why is there another wall of text??? Oh, the eye again. Ugh! Depression is no fun, I get it, But there are other books out there that are illustrated and share a journey through depression and anxiety and I enjoyed them and would recommend them. This one not so much.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Bird Brain by Chuck Mullin is a free NetGalley e-comicbook that I read into early November. Mullin as experiencing anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, while using cartoons and comic strips as an outlet for expression. Dang, these are exactly it; what it feels like in the moment and the coping mechanisms that you fumble for, retreating internally, over-analyzing, engaging in depreciating and motivated self-talk, finding the comfort of an understanding social circle, adjusting your perceived Bird Brain by Chuck Mullin is a free NetGalley e-comicbook that I read into early November. Mullin as experiencing anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, while using cartoons and comic strips as an outlet for expression. Dang, these are exactly it; what it feels like in the moment and the coping mechanisms that you fumble for, retreating internally, over-analyzing, engaging in depreciating and motivated self-talk, finding the comfort of an understanding social circle, adjusting your perceived baseline (i.e. that normality doesn't always mean that something bad is just waiting to happen), and cheering on the small things. It’s extremely helpful that they're there to chime in with their feelings and the meaning behind a particular comic strip.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ame

    "It's weird but there's something reassuring about projecting yourself onto something generally disdained and getting an encouraging response to it." Part memoir, part reflection, and all pigeon. This is a lovely collection of comics starring Mullin's anxious pigeon as it wades through depressive cycles and awkward social situations. I appreciate the attention Mullin has brought to her own mental health through these comics, which will hopefully be helpful to the millions of folks out there who "It's weird but there's something reassuring about projecting yourself onto something generally disdained and getting an encouraging response to it." Part memoir, part reflection, and all pigeon. This is a lovely collection of comics starring Mullin's anxious pigeon as it wades through depressive cycles and awkward social situations. I appreciate the attention Mullin has brought to her own mental health through these comics, which will hopefully be helpful to the millions of folks out there who often feel alone with their own struggles. Thanks Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this title a bit early!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    ** I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. ** Just like the author, I too love pigeons and scoff with other people call them sky rats. This book is a combination of drawings of pigeons experiencing bouts of anxiety and the author writing about her own mental health struggle. This was a quick read, but still very enjoyable. I identified with the pigeons in some of the cartoons, and while some of the comics are more light-hearted, some of the short stories from the author ** I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. ** Just like the author, I too love pigeons and scoff with other people call them sky rats. This book is a combination of drawings of pigeons experiencing bouts of anxiety and the author writing about her own mental health struggle. This was a quick read, but still very enjoyable. I identified with the pigeons in some of the cartoons, and while some of the comics are more light-hearted, some of the short stories from the author are DEEP. Mental illness is no walk in the park, and she definitely doesn't try to lighten up her own experience to make it a more carefree book and I really appreciated that.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Adams

    Received an eARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review I went into this expecting just a compilation of comics, so I was mildly surprised by the extent of the text portions, but not put off. Anxiety/depression are very important topics and I am glad that this comic/book exist. However, I was personally a little underwhelmed with the actual content of the comic. Apparently enough people enjoy the comic enough that this made it to book stage, and that's great. But none of it was that Received an eARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review I went into this expecting just a compilation of comics, so I was mildly surprised by the extent of the text portions, but not put off. Anxiety/depression are very important topics and I am glad that this comic/book exist. However, I was personally a little underwhelmed with the actual content of the comic. Apparently enough people enjoy the comic enough that this made it to book stage, and that's great. But none of it was that unique or memorable for me.

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