Next spring, Oni Press is publishing I Feel Awful, Thanks, a lushly illustrated debut graphic novel by Lara Pickle that explores the hardfought journey of self-acceptance in a complex world of swirling emotions and powerful potions. The sweetly spooky debut follows Joana, a young witch working in an innovative potions lab. From moving to a new city to start the perfect job, to work burnout and catty coworkers, to stress and mental health, I Feel Awful, Thanks is incredibly relatable for early 20-somethings finding their way in the working world.
“I created this comic in the hopes that if people identify with it, then it will serve as a gentle reminder that they’re not alone,” said Lara Pickle. “It’s very important to give visibility to mental health issues, because the more we talk about them and how differently they appear and affect us, the easier it will be for everyone—ourselves included—to be kinder to us.”
Joana is a young witch who secured her dream job with a coven in London, her favorite city, where she can dedicate herself to creating potions, her favorite activity! However, she will soon discover the reality of city life is not so idyllic. Finding a flat is an ordeal, her “dream job” is stressful, and she’s totally alone. Little by little, she makes her place, but fatigue, sadness, and doubts threaten to topple her hard-earned success . . . until she starts talking to a professional who helps her realize in order to take care of herself, she must know herself. Joana has dragons inside her. Can she tame them before they burn her life down?
“Like many Oni fan favorites such as Sheets and Mooncakes, I Feel Awful, Thanks explores deep meaningful themes with a sweetly spooky exterior,” said Oni Press Editor-in-Chief Sierra Hahn. “When Joana’s life becomes overwhelming and her emotions start closing in, a professional therapist is able to help Joana address her feelings and the root of her problems for the better. This book invites readers of all ages to explore emotions, mental health, and the positive power of therapy as they travel alongside Joana on her magical journey.”
I Feel Awful, Thanks will be available in stores on March 4, 2024.