‘The healing of the Cricket’ is a story by Toon Tellegen about a cricket who is overcome by a sudden gloom and, with the help of his friends, keeps trying to make his somber feeling go away. It turns out to be a long and difficult process, but at the same time it is also a very positive and wholesome story.
For my adaptation of the story as a graphic novel, I decided to design Toon Tellegen’s animals as humans (neither male nor female) with animal costumes, because I wanted to show that anybody can be the persistent elephant, the friendly squirrel or the gloomy cricket.
The result is a visualisation of my own experience reading Tellegen’s story and my experience with depression. I hope this graphic novel will help introduce this story to new audiences that might feel more comfortable with this form instead of a novel. I myself struggle with reading, and I think this story would have reached me at a much younger age if someone presented it as a graphic novel, it probably would have helped me to make sense of my depression sooner.
It’s a heavy book to read, it is so by design. I want people to realise that they can put the graphic novel aside, but someone struggling with depression can’t put those feelings aside. I’m hopeful that the graphic novel brings a feeling of recognition to those who know what depression feels like and that it helps people who haven’t experienced depression understand it a little bit better. And after reading the book, please talk to each other, just like the animals in the story.
Published 2019 by Querido
Some reviews about the book: