PTSD – Guillaume Singelin

PTSD by Guillaume Singelin takes place after the main character Jun returns from a war that was unpopular with the population. When she returns she starts taking painkillers trying to cover up her newfound mental and physical issues that arose from war. She must survive in a world where veterans are not treated well by the population and forgotten by the government. Her personality served her well in combat but now she must learn to lower her guard to assimilate back into society.

Singelin does a brilliant job of showing emotion through the character expression and stylization of the comic. It is clear as to what the characters are feeling from happiness to distress and anger. She does a great job with the text showing other parts of their personality, for instance, there is a young child, Bao, his innocence is shown through his speech and facial expression. I feel, especially with small children, that their age gets lost and they end up talking like someone who is much older. Singelin, thankfully, does not have this issue.

PTSD, as the title suggests, explores how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects veterans when they come back from war. Jun often has flashbacks from her time as a sniper, some of them are nice and others are not. While the transition between the present and the past. I think this is a good way to show how fast flashbacks can come on, from my understanding of them. It is nice to see this brought up in a different format.

Singelin shows the struggles that Vets face when they come home. At least in the United States there is a growing problem with pain medication abuse among Vets. This comes up many times in the comic not only with Jun but with the other Veterans in the comic. Homelessness is also a prominent problem. Singelin shows all of these problems, the good and bad things. Jun, has a hard time accepting help from people getting angry at anyone who offered her help thinking that she is only getting help because the one offering it wants to feel good about themselves. I love that she is able to show all of these challenges even in a panel format.

I have one minor problem with the actual printing of this comic. The letters of the title are punched out of the cover, it makes it really hard to hold the comic without your fingers going through the holes. While this may not be a problem for some people, it was distracting for me and took away from my overall enjoyment reading it. It’s such a shame that I had a problem with something so small, especially because it does look good artistically.

PTSD is a great comic to read. It showcases so many problems that are faced by Vets. The art is fantastic and a joy too even just flip through and look at. If you like graphic novels/comics this is one that should be on your list to check out.

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