DANIELLE: Do a lot of people open up to you about their own mood disorders now that Marbles is out there?
ELLEN: There’s been a lot more outpouring of other people’s stories than I realized there would be, but I’ve gotten more comfortable setting my boundaries so that I can be comfortable with that. One thing about opening yourself up by writing a book like this is that at the same time, it allows people to come to terms with their own stories, and let out their own stories. It can be a lot to hear.
That’s a lot of responsibility!
It is! I mean I’ve done autobiographical work for a long time, so I’m somewhat used to it, but it’s always weird for someone to already know a lot about me when we meet.
What do people usually say?
They’re either really familiar with me, or they’ll ask all sorts of stuff about my mom, who I wrote about a lot in Monkey Food, things like that. My friend writes a home design blog and my apartment was featured on the website a couple of years ago, which was great. Then I was at a yoga studio that I don’t usually go to, and I was paying with my credit card, and the cashier said “Oh! Ellen Forney! Are you the cartoonist? I really love your work.” And she talked about a few things I’ve drawn for The Stranger, and something that she really liked about my style. And then she said, “Oh, and I really like the combination of new and vintage stuff in your apartment!” [laughs]