Cover Image: Bird Brain

Bird Brain

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Member Reviews

This was both cute and hilarious. And it definitely hit close to him as someone with mental illness myself. I was worried that it would not be funny, but it cheered me up.
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This was a very interesting collection of comics interspersed with essays from the author. The book deals with the authors experience with mental illness. This is a really honest look into mental illness that manages to be authentic and humorous.
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Wonderful book.
As someone who experiences anxiety and depression myself it was great to see how I felt depicted and realise it happens to so many people.
It was wonderful to be able to relate to the comics. It was sad too recognising my bad day situations in there and then to be able to laugh at it a little and know its life and we all stuggle.
Id love to hear from someone who hasnt experienced anxiety or depression and have read this. Did it help you relate?
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I loved this book! It was a really nice read about mental health. The artwork was quirky and I liked how the author chose a pidgeon as the main character in their book. All of the little comics were relatable and portrayed the struggles of mental health in a truthful yet humerous way. The author also includes short essays about her own experience and struggles with mental health and those were very touching and authentic. I highly recommend this book.
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If you struggle with mental illness at all, especially anxiety and depression, I can't recommend this collection enough. You'll laugh, you'll get all kinds of Feels™, and I can almost guarantee you'll love these little anxious pigeons as much as I did.

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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I just reviewed Bird Brain by Chuck Mullin. #BirdBrain #NetGalley 


As we go through stages of life, sometimes we found people with anxiety and depression. By not being one of them, we tend to judge them harshly, and even avoid them at all cost. Some who got bigger heart and want to help, got stuck in the middle of uplifting their peers' mood. This book helps me to understand how these friends think. At least I can understand much better, and hopefully can behave accordingly to help them in their struggle  through depression and anxiety.
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Initial tweeted reaction: I just finished this, and I nearly screencapped half the book to go "Look! Look at this comic about the inside of my brain!"

... I didn't nearly miss my stop because I was trying to find a link to two of my favourite comics from it. No one did. That would have been foolish.

Review on Lady Business: Bird Brain is a series of mental health comics told through the medium of pigeons, and it's probably my favourite of all of the #Relatable webcomics that I read in 2019. The depiction of anxiety and recovery matches up with my experience (no seriously), and I appreciate the aggressive positivity comics because that's how I cope too! The art is cute and cartoony, and has the right balance of relatable and distance between the reader and the pigeons that it's not too much of a call-out. I really like this one! Would actually buy it instead of just borrowing it from the library!

[This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley]
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This book is an absolute hoot, so to speak.  Well thought out.  Relatable and thought provoking.  10/10 will recommend!
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The comics in this book are so good, almost makes you love pigeons. I didn't really need the commentary for each section but I can see how some would like that. As someone that struggles with anxiety this was a perfect read to brighten my day.
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Chuck Mullin knows a thing or two about mental illness. As someone who suffered from depression and anxiety for years, she knows the darkness and overthinking that can cause the world to close in around you. She also loves pigeons and feels a kinship to them, as birds of a misunderstood feather. So when she started creating drawings to help illustrate what she was thinking and feeling, she close to express herself with pigeons. 

Bird Brain is her first book, a collection of some of the drawings that first appeared online and have inspired so many others in their honesty and positivity. With the drawings are some of her personal essays about her anxiety, relationships, choice to use medication, bad times, isolation, negative thoughts, and personal affirmations. 

Despite the charm of the illustrations, this is not an easy book to read. Mullin is exceptionally open about her struggles and her challenges, talking about getting pushback for going on medications and being in an emotionally abusive relationship. But she also shares some of her wins, the joys she finds in her life and in her healing. 

If you know her art, you won’t be surprised by the lovely moments her comics illuminate. And you won’t be surprised when they turn dark, reminding you that depression can be a wolf at the door, always ready to strike. Her vulnerability makes this a perfect book for anyone who suffers from mental illness to feel heard and understood, as well for those who don’t struggle with anxiety or depression and want to understand what their loved ones go through in those dark moments. 

Bird Brain may be Chuck Mullin’s first book, but I genuinely hope it is not her last. I look forward to learning more about her journey to wholeness and her struggles and successes. 

Galleys for Bird Brain were provided by Andews McMeel Publishing through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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I am blessed with not having severe anxiety, depression, or any mental illness; but I do know those that do.  And the wonderful strength of this book is to shed light on the author's experiences with those things in adorable comics starring a pigeon.  While the author wrote it so that others with similar experiences can relate and know that there are others out there struggling, I too found it an extremely helpful read to better understand my fellow humans and hopefully I can be more empathetic to their struggles in the future.  I'll be honest that I didn't care for the art style when I started, but I warmed up to it by the end.
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Bird Brain is a delightful collection of comics that realistically show the creator's life with mental illness. I am thankful for this ARC, as I would not have been interested in the title otherwise, but it will fit quite nicely in my fledgling nonfiction YA graphic novels collection.
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Bird Brain: Comics About Mental Health, Starring Pigeons by Chuck Mullin is a collection of brutally honest, brilliantly weird comics exploring what it’s like to live with mental illness, using pigeons. When Chuck Mullin began experiencing anxiety and depression as a teenager, she started drawing comics to help her make sense of the rollercoaster. Eventually, she found that pigeons—lovably quirky, yet universally reviled creatures—were the ideal subjects of a comic about mental illness. The book is organized in three sections—"Bad Times," "Relationships," and "Positivity"—and featuring several short essays about the author’s experiences. 

Bird Brain is a comic collection that I related to on some levels, and not so much on others (I am more of an emotion stuffer than a crier), because we are all different. I loved how honest Mullin is about how she has felt, and the changes that she has made in her life. Like Mullin I have never shared the disdain for pigeons, and find them fun and cute. I liked the stories she shared, and the artwork. I think the only thing I might have changed is the inclusion of resources, like hotlines or online communities, that readers might use for support if they want or need some connection. However, since the book was originally published in the UK, I understand that it would take getting some different information for each publishing market.

The acknowledgement that self love and the love of others is not mutually exclusive, and that improving mental health is a journey, was important to me. So many of the platitudes people throw at people dealing with any kind of mental distress (clinical or situational)  are more harmful than helpful- because if people could just smile and feel better don't you think they would? If only it were so easy. I also like that Mullin points out that medication can be part of the solution- but is not the only part and is not for everyone. Side effects and allergies can make medication more problematic than what they are supposed to help, but if he right dose of the right med is found it can make life significantly better for some. I really love the clear point that we are all different, and effect to different therapies and tools accordingly- working with a professional to find the right combination is important and can very greatly depending on the person. 

Bird Brain is an honest and relatable collection that will speak to anyone that has suffered through anxiety and/or depression. I think it would also be a great read for those with loved ones that are dealing with them to help them understand what it feels like.
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💖 “Bird Brain is a raw, honest portrayal of what living with a mental illness is like, told through heartwarming comics that are both relatable but also can make you chuckle.” 💖

I’m so glad, that I picked up Bird Brain because it was incredible! I heard that it was up on Netgalley and the concept of it immediately drew me in. A comic? About mental health? With pigeons? I was sold immediately and flew through the book during one lazy Sunday afternoon. Let me tell you, Bird Brain is a great comfort read, broken up through texts centered around a topic that breaks up the comics that follow and were right up my alley. There is something comforting about someone understanding what struggling with mental health is like and so many people being able to relate to the comics, that have been around on the Internet beforehand! Here are some of the things I loved about this:I loved the mix between comics and texts by the author. The book consists of several topics and I liked that this centered the comics around a theme and allowed the author to share her experiences both in text and in her art. Going in I didn’t know that there would be short texts provided by the author, but I feel like they really helped to understand her comics and own perspective on her life with depression and anxiety.

➽ The portrayal of anxiety was so real and relatable to me, as a lot of the comics illustrated what it’s like to think differently from people and fall down a big negative thought spiral. Even the most mundane things like texting can become a huge burden when you’re convinced that everyone hates you. I appreciated the author talking about it so much and also highlighting that you need to challenge these thoughts even though it’s so hard. Her experiences and art resonated within me a lot!

➽ There’s also a focus on the author’s depression (which I cannot talk about, as I don’t personally have it) and her experience with taking medication. I appreciated that she discussed her own experiences with medication, while also making sure she transported that she didn’t speak for everyone and that, of course, different kinds of therapy work for different people.

➽ I loved the art style a lot and especially the author’s choice to depict herself as a pigeon in the comics. She spoke straight to my heart, as – like her – I think that pigeons are pretty misunderstood and often victims of the bad circumstances they live in (like in the city when they don’t get appropriate, healthy food & there is so much overpopulation), but can be kind and gentle animals. [Little Known Fact about me: I’ve always appreciated pigeons and think they can be really cute if cities make an effort to offer them good food and a place to stay. That’s why I resonated with the author’s choice so much because she just got it!] She reclaimed a scorned animal as that’s how she felt as a person with a mental illness and it definitely gave her comics a special meaning!

In the end: I definitely recommend reading Bird Brain, because it has amazing artwork that might make you like pigeons more than you usually do and offers some great insights into the author’s experience dealing with depression and anxiety. I found many parts of her perspective to be so relatable and the comics truly warmed my heart, though they also confronted me with some of the less comfortable truths of having anxiety.
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This was not what I expected going in. I have not seen the author's works previously and therefore, did not know the kind of content it had. Since I usually like checking out compilations of comic strips, I decided to give it a shot. 

Most of the comic strips that I follow, and some of those that I do not but happen to read occasionally have a layer of hidden meaning about how people view life. I think it is easier to bundle up the truth between the laughs generated from simple gags within thought bubbles. These comics have its message more boldly presented, the drawings are not even the main attraction. I think it will resonate with anyone who has ever had mild panic attacks at the unknown. The author has bared her soul in the pages between the clusters of comics under particular headings. 

The graphics were not my cup of tea, but the message is pretty solid. It is a heavy read and not funny in the 'Haha' sense. 

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.
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I don't know if this was the best book of mental illness/health and pigeons.. but i don't know of any book with pigeons. I liked tht it made mental illness more noticeable like everyone has anxiety and some other issue and this book lets you see the ugly bad times but also makes you realize its going to be okay no matter if you are a person or a pigeon.
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A brave and funny look of a personal journey of self-awareness and their fight with anxiety, depression and other emotional nerve-wracking issues relating to mental illness. An interesting and sometimes bemusing read at the individual’s reflection of their daily stressful routine.
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I thought this was an interesting book. These aren't the usual kinds of comics I would read, but I found myself relating to many of them. The art itself is really nice, and it made for an enjoyable read. The essays sprinkled throughout were also a nice touch.
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As someone who is interested to learn more about mental health, this book has helped me to understand things better. Thank you for writing this humorous yet informative book for someone like me, who is still on the journey to understand this topic :)
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I came to this thinking it would make a reasonable gift for my most depressed, least depressing, friend. And then I saw the reality.  I don't think the artwork was at all attractive enough for a gift book, I would seriously question the decision to preload the thing with all the depressing, self-doubting cartoons before anything positive and affirming is allowed to come along, and I am not sure we needed quite as many essays as we got.  I'm sure it will make a lot of sufferers empathise for its accuracy regarding many mental and social conditions, but this wasn't really what I wanted.
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