Please read this after you’ve read issue 3!
1. Guide to Japanese dialogue in issue 3 (and the French!)
2. Key to the gay celebrity lookalike zombies on page 10.
3. Help and resources following on from ‘A Little Note From Martin’ at the back of issue 3.
1. Guide to Japanese dialogue and (French)
In the ‘Spandex Shorts’ there’s a strip written in Japanese.
The title is ‘Pink Ninjas’ and then ‘in ‘Pink Ninjas’
The first panel, the box says ‘now’. Then the guy is saying ‘He is dead’.
2nd panel – ‘our icon has been murdered’
3rd panel – ‘We will rise and take his place’, ‘We are the new Pink Ninjas!’
2. Key to the gay celebrity lookalike zombies on page 10
This is just a fun panel – I thought it would be cool to do a snapshot of ‘who’s who’ in the celebrity LGBT universe. Some of the likenesses are terrible (lol) and some are not too bad hehe. A couple of them, after I drew it, I thought ‘are they actually gay?’ - they are generally deemed to be, or at least they have links to the LGBT community in some way. I Wiki’d them though, and they are LGBT, phew.
Anyway, in no particular order, but generally from left to right, top to bottom, you can see:
Sunny Fong (winner of Project Runway Canada), Pet Shop Boys, Joe McElderry, Michael Barrymore, Alan Cumming (no, looks nothing like him), Tracy Chapman (yeah I only read rumours from Perez Hilton about Tracy, so ‘unconfirmed’!), Beth Ditto from the Gossip, Pat Butcher, Simon Callow, Pete Burns, Diva Fever from X-Factor, Jimmy Sommerville, Amy Lame, Sir Ian McKellan, the Doc from Embarrassing Illnesses, Boy George, Ellen deGeneres, John Barrowman, Stephen Fry, Sophie B Hawkins, Right Said Fred geezer, Dale Winton (not very good), Jake from Scissor Sisters, Simon Amstell, Mary Queen of Shops, Portia de Rossi, Gok Wan, Elton John, Sue from Mel & Sue, Julian Clary, Syed and Christian from Eastenders, Graham Norton (terrible!), George Michael, Kurt from Glee, Jeannette Winterson, Martin Navratilova (oops no good), Ann Heche (lesbian no more, and again, terrible likeness! I don’t think I even bothered), Rupaul!, Ricky Martin, Will Young… I think that’s it!
3. Help and resources
At the back of issue 3, I wrote a little note about the underlying themes of issue 3, namely dealing with depression, anxiety, stress, or similar mental health problems.
Just to give this more of a context, I have struggled with anxiety problems for several years (i was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder a few years ago), but i have learned a lot over the years. Everyone’s experiences are different, so all ll I can do is pass on information about my own experiences.
- First up – you should realise that these kinds of problems are very common indeed, you are not alone. I get all sorts of symptoms with mine, and I’m amazed it’s all normal, but it really is. Panic attacks are utterly bizarre but just bear in mind that they are normal and they cannot actually harm you. One of the hardest parts in all this is to recognise that this is depression/anxiety and not anything serious. You can get so many different symptoms – headaches, stomach pains, sickness, etc – but a lot of them are really just caused by your brain.
- See your Doc. It might take a while for you to get your head around what’s happening to you, but it’s really normal. The Doc might recommend medication, which might be a good idea. It will take a while to kick in, and it’s really important that you try to get some form of counselling so that you can get to grips with it mentally as well as physically. Counselling isn’t for everyone, but it can really help. Cognitive Behaviour Counselling is effective for anxiety problems.
- Exercise – this is so beneficial. I go swimming a lot and it’s great – very relaxing and you feel the benefits afterwards. Obviously there are other kinds of exercise – the gym, running, etc. Even if you only feel up for a walk around the block, just go for it to get a change of scene. Yoga is also good and helps balance the body.
- Acupuncture really helped me a lot. If I get nasty symptoms for more than a couple of weeks, I just head for some acupuncture and it normally sorts me out really quickly. It seems to set the body right, and also, occasionally the acupuncturist might give you a really good ‘pep talk’. I go to an acupuncturist called Pam at the Beckenham Therapy Rooms, and she really gives me a good talking-to!
- Self-help books. It might sound daft, but these really do help because they let you put things into perspective. You can get all sorts of ‘Anxiety Workbooks’ and confidence books.
You might want to know that some sexual health clinics (definitely the ones in London) actually offer psychology and counselling services. So basically, if the NHS has a really long waiting list, that is a really good option and it’s free! You can go for several sessions there. It’s really worth checking out.
For the LGBT community, I highly recommend you check out organisations such as PACE and GMFA. PACE in particular offers some great services and they do excellent workshops – I went on some confidence-boosting workshops, and they can be very hard work, but they can really set you back on the right track.
Finally, here are just some random helplines and good contact sites you can try. If anyone has any suggestions for additions, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll add it in.
Anxiety UK (formerly National Phobics Society): 08444 775 774, www.anxietyuk.org.uk
First Steps to Freedom: 0845 120 2916, email email@example.com, www.first-steps.org
International Stress Management Association: 07000 780430, www.isma.org.uk
No Panic: 0808 808 0545, email firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nopanic.org.uk
Samaritans – http://www.samaritans.org
If you want to browse thru details of some very helpful websites, check out the links at the bottom of this page
A great resource for the LGBT community is the Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, try Googling as there are various sites – the London one is here: http://www.llgs.org.uk/
Finally, if all else fails, you’re always welcome to drop me a line. Dealing with these kinds of problems can be quite an isolating experience, and you might feel like no-one understands. If you need to chat, I’m happy to listen.