Hilarious Cartoon (Possibly offensive)/My Book’s Cover & Toni Childs

I am writing this post on a rainy Sunday afternoon, as the next few days I plan to set my blog aside to focus on working on my book Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder.  The book will be an amalgamation of memoir, interviews with postpartum/bipolar experts, women’s mental health advocates, and profiles of women diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder.  I know that sounds like an awful lot to throw together, but I think it can be done well.  It won’t be easy (that’s a slight understatement…) but I’m going to give it my best shot!

Last week I suggested to  Chato B. Stewart, a talented artist friend of mine, that he create a cartoon for my book’s cover.  Chato blogs for BP Magazine (http://www.bphope.com/bphopeblog) and writes the popular “Mental Health Humor” column for PsychCentral.com.  I never dreamed he’d take me up on creating my cover image; he’s a busy bee, but he did.  He worried that it would offend me, but when I opened up the file of his cartoon in all its glory, I laughed out loud.  So did some mama friends of mine.  I hope you can see the humor in it as well; if not, I’m sorry – please don’t un-follow me!

I’ve thought of a similar idea in which my title is literally interpreted to appear as a woman giving birth to a brain.  So Chato and I are on the same page with that concept!

Other vivid, graphic birth images have appealed to me as well.  Before my second daughter was born, I listened to an incredible Toni Childs album over and over again called “The Woman’s Boat”.  Toni Childs’ music reached a peak in the 1980’s when she was nominated for two Grammy awards.  She has worked with many acclaimed musicians such as Peter Gabriel. Eve Ensler, writer and founder of V Day, asked Toni to write an anthem for her documentary Until the Violence Stops. Toni wrote a song entitled “Because You’re Beautiful” for the film and her song won an Emmy award in 2004 for Outstanding Music and Lyrics.  She is a long-term survivor of Graves Disease and has just released her newest album “Citizens of the Planet”.

“The Woman’s Boat” themes range from birth to death – the first song is “Womb” and the final song is “Death”.  This album has influenced me in very personal, profound ways.  I brought this CD with me to the maternity hospital when I went into labor with Marilla.  Not only did I want to hear Toni’s music while in labor, if possible, but I wanted to prop up the CD’s  liner note photos so I could look at them.  I felt deeply connected to these images; to me they visually represented the power of a woman’s fertility, and displayed the beauty of women’s bodies.   (I imagine that the insert picture of a woman giving birth to a flower could also offend some people, but I think it’s stunning.)  The cover art of a pomegranate as a symbol of fertility is gorgeous as well.

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Brainstorm New

***If you’ve never listened to Toni Childs, you are in for a treat!  Here’s a YouTube link that features a playlist many of her songs:

***For more information about my super-cool friend Chato, please check out his following links:

http://chatobstewart.com/

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/humor/about/

http://www.bphope.com/bphopeblog

***To see what Toni Childs is up to, visit the following link and be sure to look at her incredible Kickstarter video on the home page which she created:

http://www.tonichilds.com/

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3 thoughts on “Hilarious Cartoon (Possibly offensive)/My Book’s Cover & Toni Childs

  1. Hi, The Cartoonist Chato here,
    As a father of 4, I appreciate the labor pains a woman suffers…I am also unique in that I helped birth my kids, not just cutting the cord. Our 3rd child I delivered with very little guidance at all. When I read Dyane’s blog title, this Mental Health Humor Brainstorm “popped” instantly into my imagination. I literally stopped everything I was working on to draw it out (also it was a long day and I needed a break). Face-value: it could seem offensive – but there is nothing bad about the beauty of birth! The fact is this is a cartoon for postpartum bipolar and it fits the title of the blog and her future best-seller: “Birth of a New Brain.” 🙂

    1. Chato, you are so awesome! Thanks for such a heartfelt comment. I am a huge fan of yours…always have been and always will be. I’ll try to adjust the pixels but I have no idea what to do – expect me to bug you about it! 😉 be well, Dyane

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