Mental health and magic cats in Michael DeForge's First Year Healthy

Date
16 February 2015
Reading Time
1 minute read

If you were to pick up Michael DeForge’s First Year Healthy struck by a wave of naive curiosity, you’d be making a grave mistake. Pink and sweet-looking though it may be, it couldn’t be further from a children’s story: rather, the newest publication by the Toronto-based cartoonist is a bizarre and mysterious tale about mental health, magic cats and very big hair.

The story’s protagonist is a young woman recently released from hospital following an “episode,” who meets a boy and proceeds to have a series of creepy and unexplained experiences which delicately balance on the thin line between the real and imagined as her mental well-being begins to dwindle. We as readers, however, have no idea which is which, and as such we’re obliged to run at full pelt towards her strange destiny beside her. Michael’s illustration is sumptuous in its portrayal of this downwards turn, with all of its odd colour palettes, strange flora and fauna, and the decidedly creepy depiction of the characters she meets. Oh, it’s good. Weird and good.

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Michael DeForge: First Year Healthy

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Michael DeForge: First Year Healthy

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Michael DeForge: First Year Healthy

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Michael DeForge: First Year Healthy

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Michael DeForge: First Year Healthy

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Michael DeForge: First Year Healthy

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Michael DeForge: First Year Healthy

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Michael DeForge: First Year Healthy

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About the Author

Maisie Skidmore

Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 as an intern before joining full time as an Assistant Editor. Maisie left It’s Nice That in July 2015.

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