Throughout the production of MANIA, the entire A.L.Ex Studios team has felt the pressure of what a weighty topic we are undertaking by tackling the concept of mental health. It has been incredibly important to all of us not only to be accurate and honest, but accepting and kind. This is because the purpose of MANIA’s theme is to remove negative stigmas from mental illness and make our small contribution to the large task of normalizing neurodiversity. Up to this point, we have framed the message of MANIA to align with that existing dichotomy of positive and negative. “Mental illnesses, neuroses and fears are not weaknesses but strengths” has been the basic byline. But the more we explore the potential of a comic that wants to change the way we talk about mental health, we no longer feel like restricting ourselves to aligning mental illness with either “bad” or “good,” “negative” or “positive.” Sticking with the existing framework for discussing mental illness just doesn’t suit the ambitious goals we have for the MANIA franchise.
We want to imagine a world where neurodivergence is treated as just another facet of someone’s personality and perspective. We want MANIA to inspire readers to fully know and accept themselves no matter what they are struggling with, because it is only through self-acceptance and love that we can be empowered and happy with ourselves. Our ultimate goal is to see more and more people find true happiness, share that happiness with others, and use it to uplift the whole world. Through MANIA, we want to spread the message that Different is Powerful, and loving yourself and what makes you different will give you the keys to unlock limitless worlds of possibility.
Be sure to pledge your support to this awesome new franchise and help us #KickstartMANIA on Wednesday, February 15th.