Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I was unable to download this book before it was archived. So I wasn't able to read it. I very much look forward to buying it and reading it though, Thank you for giving me this opportunity I very much appreciate it!
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In Guillaume Singelin’s PTSD, a fictional war and a fictional city bear resemblance to real life, examining in dark and gritty terms how people are stripped of their connection with other humans, and the daunting work of rebuilding what they lost.

Jun is a homeless veteran who staggers through a chaotic and filthy urban environment on the constant brink of further breakdown, dependent on pills and solitude to keep her pain away. While on combat duty, Jun lays awake in her tent, the surrounding bombs booming through her skull and rattling her awake. Her current predicament is fully haunted by her rattled past.

A morning encounter with Leona and her son Bao leads to an offer of breakfast after Jun passes out in front of their food stand. Leona, a single mother who’s struggling to keep her new business afloat, begins the complicated and messy process of attempting to befriend Jun, who resists attempts at closeness and lashes out at honest concern while escaping back into a life of violence and despair.

“How can we go back to being who we were before? And what are we now?” asks one homeless veteran in the story.

This loss of identity is entrenched in the soldiers’ perception of being part of a team and the shattering of that image following a war, where it becomes every person for themselves, though some of the homeless try to change that. It’s also part of something a pair of sleazeballs say to Jun — that soldiers were taken care of by the government. Her response is to rage against them about the fate of ex-soldiers, and yet, the truth is somewhere in-between. Soldiers were taken care of by the government during wartime, in exchange for their risk. Sending them into that situation created intense community. And that community was fractured after serving. The “we” the soldiers can’t reclaim isn’t an individual one, but a collective one. They were a community that no longer exists.

Saving yourself is one challenge, but fashioning connections to create a new “we” is quite something else, and a particularly difficult task when the self is broken, the ability to make connections impaired.

And the danger of the street has created a dog-eat-dog backdrop, one fueled by drugs and violence. Drugs to cope and violence to accompany the trafficking of the drugs, which creates an atmosphere of distrust that is taken advantage of by gangs who persecute the homeless veterans.

It’s Leona who might just be the non-shattered self who can gather a community from these damaged bits, but the dangers of the street and the demons of the veterans threaten to upend any compassionate effort and create such tumultuous animosity that the veterans may not ever be able to come together.

There are plenty of characters in this story, but one of the main ones, thanks to Singelin’s detailed rendering, is the city itself. Inspired by Tokyo, it’s a cluttered urban landscape of nooks and crannies, crowded and filled with life, with people in despair taking refuge in whatever corners are available. The city’s clutter is purposeful — it’s unattainable needs crammed together — food, companionship — taunting the homeless by being so in their reach, but which they are so obstructed from grasping.

It’s really a rendering of the mental state of Jun that Singelin creates in his city. Cluttered, hard to find focus, filled with fleeting moments and lost opportunities, as well as encroaching dangers and destructive distractions. In the end, PTSD ends up being a hopeful work that calls for blind compassion, and a mix of communal healing and self-sufficiency.
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PTSD illustrates the struggles many veterans face when they return from war. We see hundreds of suffering vets on the streets with nowhere to turn, abandoned by a government that should have taken care of them. At the center of the narrative is Jun, a woman suffering from severe PTSD who pulls away from those around her. She’s a complex character filled with guilt about her past, desperately wanting to get better but unable to overcome her addiction alone. This is a story about the power of community, of helping those who are struggling to make ends meet. PTSD is a very real, very painful condition, with many suffering in silence for decades. 

The story shows many barely getting by on the streets of a city filled with inequality. Local gangs have cornered the market on medical supplies, effectively killing off those who are unable to pay their inflated prices. We see a woman unable to recover from her past. She decides to take matters in her own hands and that’s when the mayhem ensues. We also see a restaurant owner and her young son begin to help the people in their neighborhood. What starts as a couple plates of food becomes a full, coordinated effort to provide meals and relief for veterans on the street. As people become well, they join the cause and the efforts grow exponentially. It’s an inspiring story, seeing these groups of people come together to help each other out. 

The art style is fascinating, filled with gruesome details and the decay of the city. Much of the novel follows a darker style but it seems to get more colorful as our protagonist begins to heal. The fight scenes are explosive and raw, using hyper-violence and sound effects to set the tone. The attention to detail fits the story well, showing every bit of the struggle so many are facing in this seemingly abandoned city.

At the end, PTSD is a story of hope for those suffering from this debilitating condition. It’s a lesson in the importance of community and friendship, of helping those around you when they need it most.
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This a complex, visually arresting book that deals with the aftermath of war. Too often veterans are left in the shadow of the sacrifices they are asked to make for their country. We forget about the toll and immense physical and mental toll of war. To watch Jun rediscover her humanity and vulnerability is, at times, difficult. It's not perfect, and it's not meant to be. This adult fiction graphic novel deals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in a sincere and serious way without causing readers to have the thought 'this is too much for me.' Through the use of warm watercolors colors and fantastic landscapes, the reader's attention is consistently called to the page. This GN attempts to deal with issues society has rejected and kept in the shadows, Singelin is encouraging us to bring PTSD into the light and talk about it.
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My background in neuroscience drew me to  PTSD. I expected something insightful and well-intentioned and I feel that I got that! This book is moving, and provides some practical steps toward healing from any difficult event. No matter what a reader is going through, I think this story could help them feel seen.

The story follows Jun, an ex-sniper from a fictional war. She lives in a fictional country that blends together some cultural elements from southeast asia and Laos. I think it’s important to go into this book with that knowledge in mind. The author is never trying to compare Jun’s struggle to any real life veteran’s hardship. I loved that Singelin included companion animals in the story. That addition really made Jun come alive for me as a character. 

It may have been due to the format I was reading (digital), but the art was a bit choppy for me.  Some panels felt overcrowded, or unclear, though that did mesh well with the storytelling. So much of Jun’s world is overpopulated, and crammed full of things and people she doesn’t feel equipped to deal with. I would like to pick up a physical copy of the book to see how it compares.

Jun left the war, but the war never left her. PTSD tracks her journey post-war, and the myriad ways she tries to relate to the world after leaving the battlefield. It’s not a happy book, but that’s one of the many things about this work that calls to mind poignant pieces of animation like Grave of the Fireflies, or Princess Mononoke. All of these works have a fairly straightforward message but they explore it with great purpose. In PTSD the focus is on building a community of people who share the same struggle.
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I'll be honest that I was not able to finish this story.  I was really excited to read this story, as my brother was a Marine, so I was looking forward to a new perspective on PTSD.  Sadly, I feel let down by the slow story line.  There were also several inconsistencies in the story, which made me question the accuracy of this story related to PTSD.  The biggest inconsistency was the use of the phrase "Semper Fi", but it was referenced that the characters were Army veterans.  I
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Damn, this graphic novel hit me really hard on so many levels. The art style lent itself well to the story, which explores a very real dilemma for war vets who return from the frontlines only to receive zero support, especially for their mental health... I don't necessarily know how I feel about the setting for the book, or some of the characters, but I thought this was a really nuanced look at PTSD.
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From the colors to the types of lines in the art, there are so many details that play with the story that I couldn’t help get excited over. One key element that makes Jun’s character interesting is that during her panic attacks or moments of stress, her eye goes from being a perfectly shaped oval, to an oval that appeared to almost have been drawn by something with shaking hands, giving this look of disarray and terror on her face. They are amazing little details, but to the plot they are extremely important in portraying the struggles and emotional strain Jun and these other veterans are going through. I completely recommend this graphic novel and think it is a unique and important read to incorporate in the much needed discussion about the subject.
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I appreciate that a lot of heart went into the story behind this graphic novel, but the art is so muddled and strange that it's really difficult to follow what's happening in the passages, and the storyline itself is disjointed and odd.
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Although I could see the potential in this text, I was not able to sustain my attention and finish the narrative.
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Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

I wasn’t much a fan of the artwork; it was too sketchy and busy, without adding any definition. I’m not sure if this was the final style or not, since this was an advanced copy I read, but I think even if it’s polished up, it’s just still not my thing.

The story was not exactly what I was expecting when I requested the book, but it was engaging and powerful nonetheless. Jun is living in a post-war world where veterans are treated as third-rate citizens, having to live on the streets and having to deal with their mental injuries without proper support systems. Some turn to violence, others to drugs, some to both, all making it more difficult for passers by to sympathize for them, despite doing their best with the nothing they’re given.

Jun’s story is one of healing, but it’s not without the dark, dark corners and dead ends that come with the process of healing. She eventually does come out of the maze, and the story ends on a relatively positive note, but it didn’t seem to address the underlying issues with the system as a whole not treating veterans as humans and understanding their need for support (at least I didn’t feel it did).

Despite the fact that I didn’t like the art style, it was an engaging story to read for a few hours, and it raised quite a few important issues. I can see it being an interesting addition to a literature or psychology class that focuses on PTSD and/or war trauma.
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PTSD is a topic that doesn't get talked about often enough, and this graphic novel does a great job discussing the effects it has from the nightmares to the drug abuse and homelessness. This story isn't for the faint of heart, as the story itself and the art got pretty gruesome. I enjoyed the message as it was very eye opening.

Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this in exchange for an honest review.
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PTSD is visually beautiful. but overly ambitious in its topic. In an effort to capture the struggles of war veterans, Guillaume Singelin bases his story on vets with PTSD showing some of the extreme issues they face. I must say that I am not a veteran and I don't truly understand. I do work ina  field that is expanding research on PTSD assistance. Because of this I felt like the violence included was over the top and does a disservice to war vets.  As a story it's enticing and exciting, but as a moral picture it fails.
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While I love that someone wrote a book focusing on the real issues surrounding PTSD, I don't know that this was the way to handle it. The main character's realization that she is doing things because of her PTSD and then dealing with her problems was entirely too simplified and just felt a little disengenuine.
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A very eye opening story about the effects of PTSD. Many books focus on the war but not the aftermath and more frequently we see only non-fiction accounts (which are important) but for many people who prefer fiction, this is a good reminder that there are consequences to war that we often overlook. Beautifully illustrated and emotionally moving, this is definitely a powerful book for any collection.
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A veteran home from an unpopular war, Jun is an outsider whose fate is similar to many of our own vets in the here and now. She's mentally and physically broken, finding relief in the drugs she's addicted to. When she connects with a single mom running a food booth, and a fellow vet and his dog, Red, Jun begins to heal and works toward helping her fellow vets heal.

Set in a fictional, Hong Kong-inspired city, PTSD chooses a gritty, urban futuristic landscape to tell the story of a veteran who went off to fight a war, and came home to indifference. Jun gives us a chance to glimpse into a vet's psyche: beaten down, haunted by her memories, and physically broken, she's been left behind by the people she thought she went off to defend. She's angry, she's in pain, and the only thing that seems to take the edge off is drugs. Basic human kindness angers her - she initially rebuffs the woman who runs a food stand, because she's so unused to humane gestures. Readers will see our vets reflected in Jun and her fellow homeless vets.

The story is strong, although I struggled with the artwork. The manga-inspired artwork is dark and often muddy. It's atmospheric, but often left me struggling to figure out what was going on and where. Manga fans will snap this up, and booktalk this with books like Elizabeth Partridge's National Book Award nominee, Boots on the Ground. This is a young adult and up-level graphic novel with language and content that may be too rough for middle grade readers.
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I had a really hard time getting into this book. The artwork was really dark and oddly drawn. It made the story seem very stilted and I had a hard time following along.
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Singelin explains in his authorial note at the end of PTSD, a graphic novel, that it is based on the simple theme of a girl trying to find inner peace. She is, only after quite the brutal gang war she starts. 

The main character of PTSD, Jun, lives in a nameless, Asian-inspired city. Jun had served in a fictional war as a sniper who also learned some medical skills thanks to the doctor in her squad, which the reader learns about from flashbacks interspersed with present-day. Today, though, Jun is homeless and angry. She's chosen to isolate herself from other homeless veterans, and she is openly hostile to a young mother who owns a diner-like restaurant who tries to feed Jun. She begins a violent gang war when she she steals some of their prescription drugs, which the gang hocks to homeless vets for exorbitant prices. Thanks to another isolated homeless vet, Jun finds comfort and solace in a dog, Red, who quickly befriends Jun. As with many vets suffering from PTSD, Red provides a sense of security when Jun's chemical imbalances in her brain are telling her that the world is hostile and that she can't trust anyone. With Red and the young mother's help, Jun is able to find her peace and bring healing to a world that, formerly, she had only brought violence to.

PTSD was an okay graphic novel. The illustrations were a bit odd. For example, Jun and the other human characters only have three fingers (plus a thumb) and their legs/ankles are way out of proportion with the rest of their bodies. It's discomfiting to look at. The redeeming fact is the positive message concerning PTSD that it contains. There are so many positive reasons why it's important to spread the window-and-mirror experiences of mental health to graphic novels, and I love that Singelin has accomplished it with PTSD.
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Jun is a homeless, pill popping vet scarred by her experience in some nameless war. She works hard to rely on only herself after feeling like her government has let her down and left her with nothing after, wringing her dry. Jun doesn’t run with other vets but when she takes notice of how the local gangs are taking more from these other homeless vets by overcharging them on medications Jun finds herself fighting another war.

There is a colorful cast of characters, among them is Leona and her son Bao who run a small restaurant and get involved in trying to feed the homeless vets around them after they first meet Jun. Then there is Grey, an old grizzled vet who gifts a dog named Red to Jun as a companion. Through Red, Jun starts to find a bit of peace that makes it easier for her to reach out to others.

This story is dark and quite gritty. The artwork seemed a bit... cute for what was being told but somehow it worked. The coloring was fantastic. You could tell when you were in the past learning what Jun went through to become so jaded because the coloring reflected those scenes. Dark, somber, muted. 

The story is titled PTSD and it’s clear in Jun that she suffers from it. The author does a good job in portraying it. It’s not just the reaction to the loud bangs. It was in the hyper vigilance, the quick flashes of uncontrollable anger, and even the anxiety. Good job showing the range of PTSD trauma.
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While the graphic novel grapples with really important topics (PTSD for a veteran who returns home and doesn't know how to cope with it), the artistic style just wasn't for me.
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