A Dundee University student has dealt with the loss of her father by exploring bereavement in a new comic book.
Megan Sinclair’s father, George, died suddenly of a heart attack in his sleep, aged just 53, in April 2014.
The comics and education PhD student said the traumatic event turned her family life upside down, but she was determined to honour the memory of her father.
The result is Close to the Heart, which takes a close look at the loss of a loved one, but maintains a hopeful message.
Initially working alone, she eventually brought in other artists to make it a team effort, which helped her deal with her sorrow.
The book will officially launch on Wednesday in the Dundee Comics Creative Space as part of a symposium.
Ms Sinclair said: “The comic basically started out as a need to write. In the weeks following my Dad’s death I needed an outlet and scribbling down my thoughts gave me that.
“My writing went from a diary to a bullet point list hidden away on my computer and then to a comic script. At that point I wasn’t really sure what the aim for it was because it was still so raw and personal.
“Gradually it became a part of my university work but it was only in the last year or so that it progressed from an individual project to a collaborative one.
“Opening the comic up to my fellow artists has been a huge help as it has allowed me to share my grief and work through it with others. Each person has taken the story and made it their own, which I love. It still feels personal to me but is simultaneously universal.
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“Comics were a constant source of comfort in my own battle with bereavement so for me there is no better way to express my own story than through that medium.
“Ultimately, I hope the comic can be used as a way of helping and educating them on resources available to those going through similar experiences.
“My research centred on healthcare information comics and I would love to use this and its counterpart, Dr Heartbeat, a superhero genre version of Close to the Heart, as teaching tools to encourage communication on difficult or stigmatised topics such as death.”
This week’s symposium focuses on public information comics produced by the comics studies team at the university.
The event will feature guest speaker Nicola Streeten, illustrator and author of Billy, Me and You, discussing her own experience of comics and grief.
Close to the Heart will be free at the symposium, but donations to the British Heart Foundation are welcome.