From the heart - student’s comic to help with grief

Megan hopes comic will help others deal with grief
Megan hopes comic will help others deal with grief
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A comic created by a student in memory of her late father aimed at helping young people cope with grief is to be launched at an arts conference in Dundee tomorrow.

PhD student Megan Sinclair’s free comic ‘Close to the Heart’ will star at a new symposium at Dundee Comics Creative Space.

As well as helping people cope with bereavement Ms Sinclair wants her work to raise awareness of heart disease and raise funds for medical research by encouraging donations for the comic to be made to the British Heart Foundation. (BHF)

Ms Sinclair’s father, George, 53, suffered a fatal heart attack in his sleep in April 2014.

‘Close to the Heart’ explores the importance of communication in helping people dealwith grief.

Ms Sinclair who gained a first class honours and a masters degree with distinction in English before embarking on her PhD in comics and education, said: “The comic basically started out as a need to write.

“In the weeks following my Dad’s death I needed an outlet and scribbling down my thoughts gave me that. My writing went from a diary to a bullet point list hidden away on my computer and then to a comic script. At that point I wasn’t really sure what the aim for it was because it was still so raw and personal.

“Gradually it became a part of my university work but it was only in the last year or so that it progressed from an individual project to a collaborative one.

“Opening the comic up to my fellow artists has been a huge help as it has allowed me to share my grief and work through it with others. Each person has taken the story and made it their own, which I love.

“Comics were a constant source of comfort in my own battle with bereavement so for me there is no better way to express my own story than through that medium. Ultimately,

Ms Sinclair added: “My research centres on healthcare information comics and I would love to use this and its counterpart Dr Heartbeat, a superhero genre version of Close to the Heart, as teaching tools to encourage communication on difficult or stigmatised topics such as death.”

James Cant, BHF director, said: “Megan has created a remarkable piece of work that conveys the pain of losing a loved one to heart disease in a way that’s both powerful and personal.”