Greenbean Comics: An Independent Study!!!

May 1, 2020   /  

Student: Samantha Green
Major: English
Advisors: Christopher Kang

Samantha GreenThis collection of comics explores my relationship with depression and anxiety, taking on the faces of funny-looking monsters. The comics serve as a space for the sometimes frank, sometimes dramatic expression of my thoughts and feelings, while also being home to some stories about zombies, daily life, and a city of goofy creatures who eat candy and scream—and these stories are still growing! My critical introduction is a reflection on my process, centered around discussions of my two major influences in comics, Lynda Barry and John Porcellino, as well as explorations of spontaneous play, the magic of making things, and how making any art (but especially comics) can help us heal and connect with each other and the world around us. It is my deepest hope that these comics make readers laugh, and make them feel understood, less alone, and inspired to make something of their own.

Samantha Green








Greenbean Comics Instagram: @doodlegreen


Samantha will be online to field comments on May 8:
Noon-2pm EDT (PST 9am-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening)

63 thoughts on “Greenbean Comics: An Independent Study!!!”

  1. We are so proud of Samantha here at GREENBEAN COMICS central.
    It has been a joy to watch Sam’s creative juices flow, and sometimes not.
    Sam has grown a lot through this I.S. experience, learning not only how to manager the time and logistics of a big Independent Study project, but learning more about the thought, feelings, strengths and weaknesses that make up a girl named Samantha. It is our hope that you are blessed by Samantha’s efforts and that she is blessed by a lifetime of artistic expression as she continues to offer herself and others joy through the gifts she has been blessed with.

    1. Wait, don’t I know you from somewhere?

      (Thanks for your sweet words, Dad)

  2. Memory Lane is an instant classic, speaks universal truth. Heading over to Instagram for my newest follow…

    1. Thanks so much, Jeff! It means the most to me when folks can relate to my comics, and to see how those “universal truths” come out even when I’ve written about a moment that’s so personal to me. And thanks for the follow – that makes me happy!!

  3. Your explanation of your characters and how the comics were your therapy really intrigued me. I hope you will be able to share this to the world, perhaps in the offices of counselors. Being a high school teacher, I would love to see you speak to art classes. Your speaking is very motivational. Best wishes to you.

    1. What a meaningful comment, Joyce – thank you so so much! I’ve been really humbled by responses like this to my comics. I’ve actually shared some of my comics with my counselor and my sister-in-law, who’s also a counselor, and to hear from them that there’s something in these doodles that could help others is so special to me. I’ve actually had a few moments in my counseling sessions where I felt like I didn’t have the words to describe what I was feeling, so I’d pull out my sketchbook where I had drawn characters like Lusa or Fuzzball and say to my counselor, “Can I just show you this?” There’s something about creative self-expression that goes far beyond words, and it can help us speak when we feel like words don’t work.

      And thanks so much for your comment about speaking to art classes – that kind of floored me! I would love to do something like that. Best wishes to you too, Joyce!

      1. Being a parent of another IS student, I love the complexity of all these IS projects and their sustainability. I am truly sincere in thinking that you could take your comics on the road and speak to young, creative minds. You never know who you will touch or help. I hope you will reach out to some art teachers, I think that is a great place to begin when you are ready. You have a gift.

  4. Wow! What a great project. I love your comics, the characters, the stories – and your account of navigating the world and building a new one in these stories is lovely. Thanks for sharing. Will check out your blog.

    1. Thank you very much! Thanks for stopping by and for checking out the blog – that means a lot to me!!

  5. “I think it’s great, I think those comics could really really help people.” – my mom, when reading Memory Lane

    These are great Samantha, you’re such a talented, imaginative drawer and story teller! I’m so happy you plan to continue these because I think they can bring so much joy to you and readers!

    1. THANK YOU, WAVERLY’S MOM! Tell her that that means the world to me, really and truly. Thanks for being such good company this year, Waverly!! We did it!!!

  6. I was able to see your short presentation through the English Department earlier this year as well as the presentation here, and I think your project is so imaginative. The comics are very relatable, and they are also whimsical and thoughtful. I hope that you continue to write them in the future. Keep drawing!

    1. Thank you very much, Holly! It’s so rewarding to hear that these are relatable. And it’s also kind of healing, because it’s a reminder that we’re not alone in our feelings! Thanks for your sweet words – hope you’re doing ok!

  7. This is wonderful Samantha! It was so fun to see you put this project together throughout this past year. Every time I came into the “studio” I was amazed at your drawings and I felt like I had entered into another world. Endlessly proud 🙂

    1. HELLO STRANGER….. thanks Ingrid :^) having sweet and supportive friends like you is one of the biggest inspirations there is!

  8. I’m OBSESSED with GREENBEAN COMICS. Peeking into that little manila folder she carried her pages around in each week was such a privilege, but being her friend and knowing her sweet soul is the highest honor of all. I’m astonished by the depth of her kindness, her gentleness, her graceful humility, her obvious brilliance, her profound thoughtfulness, and her genius sense of humor every single day. She works so hard not only in her studies and her passions, but in her friendships as well. Manth, I am so proud of you, and I’m cheering for you always. Especially now. As a matter of fact, I’m way prouder than Lauren. Like, she hasn’t even commented yet. Can’t wait to give u a hug xo

    1. OMG… GLORIA BOVINE! A CELEBRITY IN OUR MIDST! Thank you, sweet one. You inspire me always. But please, I don’t want anyone to stir up drama in my symposium……….OR DO I?

      1. What Ms. Bovine has FAILED to pick up on with her unmastered intuition is that I have already manifested by congratulatory energy and sent it way before this comment. Gloria, bless your heart for your digital message bound to pixelated projections of binary code 🙂 I’m sure Samantha thought it was cute.
        Sam, later today you should feel a 8Hz Alpha vibration opening up the praise compartment of your creativity lobe, allowing your 5D consciousness to guide you further on the path into your highest form. Just know that’s from me!

        1. Oh my gosh, Gloria, Lauren, please don’t fight over me in my symposium!!!!

          But WOW – it’s wild that you mention the vibration, Lauren because just a few minutes ago I felt a weird prickling in my head, and now I can smell colors. Did you send the right vibration?

  9. WOW I am so deeply proud of you Samantha. I will be forever grateful that I was able to meet your comics and grow from them. Your ability to invoke play, creativity, and safety when dealing with topics such as mental health is really incredible and unmatched. You have given us something truly magical:).

    1. SWEET ALEX!! Thank you very much! I really love that you said you got to “meet” my comics because I love thinking about them like that, as though they’re alive. We both know this from our materiality class, but treating the objects we work with–my comics in this case–as something living and breathing, with a personality, makes working with them all the more special! If nothing else, it’s just really fun and sweet to think about these comics and the characters in them as real, as friends floating around somewhere. Thank you for being so sweet!!

  10. Samantha, I love these comics so much, and it was such a privilege to be able to read/view the whole IS and its amazing critical introduction! Perhaps because of this I’m having a hard time formulating a Big Important Question, but I have a couple of smaller ones:

    1) Very occasionally you introduce color (some in the introduction; also the beginning of the Flowerhead Apocalypse section). Is this something you want to explore more in the future?

    2) Listening to your presentation here and thinking through what you say about working through emotions and also seeking distance, I’m wondering how you relate your work (with the collection of monsters) to those comics that feature multiple versions of the protagonist themselves, drawn in different styles or iterations? (I guess I’m thinking of your junior IS here . . .)

    I may think of more in a bit–thanks so much for this project, and congratulations!!!

    1. Hi, Professor Eager! Thanks so much for your questions! They both seem Big and Important to me.

      1) I definitely want to explore color more, and it’s something I’m playing around with now! I’ve shared a few comics on my blog that are in full color or play around with different color palettes. As I continue to find my style, I want to land on a palette that I like and can use across my work. But for now I’m just playing! Though I also do love just working in black and white, and with one pen only (right now I’m using a .05 black MUJI pen). Making the palette and supplies that simple kind of frees me up to play around more with what I actually draw, because I don’t have the added stress of making decisions about what pens or colors to use. But here’s the short answer: yes, I definitely will continue to play with color!

      2) That’s a good question! I’m not sure I have a great answer to it, but here are my thoughts! There have been moments where I see myself in characters like Lusa, Fuzzball or Bee (and I guess they literally ARE me, since the depressive or rational things they say come from MY brain), and earlier on, before I had started making the comics and was just drawing the characters in my sketchbook, Lusa actually looked like different version of me, with my face and glasses. I think drawing these different versions of yourself can be super therapeutic, because it’s like engaging in a dialogue with yourself. For me, though, I’ve found that I’m very happy to imagine these characters are having their own lives and personalities, and they just happen to live in the same world as my comic-self. Because it helps with that separation I talked about, but it’s also just super fun, like playing pretend! So I think there’s no wrong way to do it, whether an artist draws a cast of monsters to represent their different selves or literally draws different version of themselves. Because both methods do something very similar: they allow us to step outside of ourselves and take a look inside, to engage in a tangible conversation with our own hearts. I’ve just found that I like the first method more! I really don’t know if that answered your question!

      Thanks so much for your questions and your sweet words!!

      1. Thanks so much–yes, great answers. I love how deeply you think and interconnect all different aspects of your work, from the material to the personal to the theoretical! I’ve learned so much from this project, and I look forward to introducing other folks to it!!

  11. Samantha! 1. you’re adorable and 2. your comics are SO GOOD!! I’m a h u g e fan of Greenbean Comics and they’ve definitely helped me feel less alone in the depression/anxiety struggle, so thank you for manifesting these little characters and worlds. I can’t wait to see what you go on to do (and I also high-key want to read the full 60 pg comic at some point!). Congrats on a beautiful independent study and HAPPY GRADUATION!

    1. WOOHOOO MICHAELA’S HERE!!! Thanks so much, my sweet friend!! Thank you for telling me how they’ve helped you – that’s the best, best, best thing to hear. HAPPY GRAD! Let’s play Animal Crossing soon! I’ve been working hard on my island!

  12. Hello Samantha!

    Thank you so much for sharing your work with the rest of us. It has been such a privilege to know you, see how your work is coming into formation, and see the final product. It is quite evident that you have poured so much of yourself into these comics! I want to thank you for embodying the power of leaning into softness and for being aware of how vulnerability is able to heal the world. Your work is incredibly powerful (I feel so comforted by your artwork and what you have to say).

    1. My sweet one!! Thank you so much. I love what you said about vulnerability being able to heal the world. It’s so true! And it means a lot to me that you were able to see that in my work. Thank you so so much for your words and for being such a sweet and loving friend! Having your support makes it easy to be vulnerable and lean into my creativity!

  13. Amazing comic, Samantha! You put a lot of work into your IS. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you so much, Upikin! It was a joy to work on. Thank you for stopping by!!!

  14. I can’t believe I didn’t see more of these sooner! These are such delightful works, despite the difficult topics they engage. I wish I had a comic book like this when I was in high school, I think it would have helped cope with that all too real sensation of feeling like a fraud when you’re not. Keep it up!!!

    1. HI MARGARET! What a special comment – thank you! Yeah, that feeling of being a fraud is the W O R S T but gets a little easier to wrestle with when we give it a funny little face. Thank you for all the great comics conversations this year; your passion for them has inspired me a lot!

  15. Samantha! Thank you so much for sharing your art with all of us. It has been such a privilege to watch your comics grow and become this amazing project. I am so proud of you. I can’t wait to keep reading them.

    1. Thank you, sweet Hannah!! You’ve inspired me a lot to work hard and lean into what I love. I am proud of YOU!

  16. Thank you for sharing your work with us today. I like the idea of Anxiety and Depression existing in their own right outside of what makes a person themselves.

    1. Thank you, Karen! That discovery — that the characters representing my anxiety and depression could step outside of my own issues and live their own lives — was so incredibly freeing in my process, and it helped me see that the world of my comics can keep on growing forever. And that helps me feel so inspired! Thank you for stopping by!!

  17. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences. These are wonderful to read.

  18. This is SO COOL Samantha! I love looking through your comics and find myself so drawn into the various creatures and worlds you have created. So excited for everything you are going to continue to do with this creativity and passion. I hope you recognize how wonderful this is!

    1. Hi, Ellie!! Thank you so much! It’s really special and joyful to see new folks react to these. Thank you for reading and for being so sweet!!!

  19. There is really so much that I admire about this project. It is incredible that you have found a fulfilling creative outlet that lets you process your emotions and connect with other people to feel less alone. I just think that is such a special thing and I am glad that you are planning on doing it forever and ever 😉

  20. Samantha, your presentation is a delight, just like your project! I’m glad to have had the chance to read your work and look forward to everything you will create in the future!

    1. Thanks so much, Professor Beutner! I’m so glad to have worked with you these past three years! And thank you for bringing Lynda Barry into my life!! I hope you know that you showing me Syllabus changed my life. BIG TIME. Thank you!!

  21. Hello Samantha,

    Your technical skill and creativity is inspiring. I am a clinical research psychologist with a particular background in unipolar depression theory and research. I’m especially struck here by the resonant and evocative ways you symbolize various features of unipolar depression. Your images are precisely emblematic of many aspects of the syndrome, and it’s easy to imagine that your work might be used to help textbooks, self-help guides, or web resources to better convey crucial clinical concepts.

    Is there a site that will be hosting more samples of your work?

    Best wishes and congratulations!

    1. What an incredible comment, and how special to see my comics through a lens I haven’t seen them through before – thank you so much! You can see more of my comics on my blog, which is linked above! ( I’d like to eventually build up a nicer website, but for now, the blog is the spot! Thanks so much again!!

  22. These are so relatable, personal, and sweet. Thank you for this beautifully done work and helpful narration. Congratulations!

  23. Congratulations! Stories are so important, and I can’t think of a better way to make sense of the world than through stories. The Stephen Nachmanovitch book sounds like an inspiring book. I am currently reading a biography about Tove Jansson, who is famous for creating the Moomin characters.

    It is fascinating to read about the creative process behind comics – thank you for the opportunity to read about your process and characters! I followed you on Instagram and look forward to seeing more of your work.

    1. Hi Jayne! Thanks so much for your words. You should definitely check out Nachmanovitch’s book – my advisor introduced me to it, and it quite literally changed my life! And I LOVE MOOMIN! I’ve always wanted to read more about Tove Jansson, so thanks for reminding me! Thanks so much for stopping by, and thanks for the follow! I appreciate it a lot!

      1. I love the Moomins, too. The book I am reading is Tove Jansson: Work and Love by Tuula Karjalainen, and it is filled with her illustrations and paintings. I think you might like it. Best of luck to you!

  24. Samantha, your art is beautiful and so imaginative. I’m so proud of you for doing what makes you happy. Your comix have given me so much joy. I’m lucky to have such a talented, kind friend. You are one humble green bean and you have a lot to share with the world.

    1. Thanks, sweet Lillie! Thank you for making me laugh and for being such good company!

  25. Wonderful presentation, Samantha–your comics are inspiring as well as delightful and I can’t wait to see where you go with them. Your protagonist connects with emotions while also achieving distance from them in ways that seem relevant for thinking about how to navigate Pandemic territory . . . I’ll be sure to follow your blog to find out how your work develops!

  26. Samantha–I very much enjoyed reading your comics. What a delight–funny, probing, cleverly rendered! You’ve developed a great sense of what you can do with a few panels on a page. And how wonderful that you were able to do this project after thinking through so many questions about comics last year. Congratulations!

    1. Hi, Professor Shostak!!! It’s so good to hear from you! Thank you so much for your sweet words, and for being so encouraging while I explored comics last year. You helped me get to this place, so I’m super thankful for your guidance! Hope you’re well!

  27. Hi Samantha!

    I started following you about a month or so ago, and each time you post a comic it brightens my day! Your style is wonderful, and it’s so interesting to hear what inspires you to make comics.

    I really fell in love with comics in my first-year at Wooster, and further deepened my relationship with them as I’ve gotten older. To me, it’s just magical to think that I’ve crossed paths with someone whose works I admire so much.

    Congratulations on completing this project! I look forward to seeing whatever your create next.

  28. This is incredible! Great job. Someone must have asked this already, but will you publish it in any way?

    All the best!!

  29. Thanks for sharing these wonderful comics!
    Your enthusiasm and your joy for your project comes shining through.
    Keep creating and, by all means, keep sharing!

  30. It is such a gift to read about your project. I read Marbles by Ellen Forney a few years back & thought, wow, more people should draw about these experiences … and here you are!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this important, creative, and inspiring work with us!

  31. Dear Samantha,

    Congratulations on this wonderful, powerful, beautiful IS project! Your comics are so welcoming and compelling. I can easily imagine that they would draw in folks who may share some of your experiences, but who haven’t yet found ways to process what they are feeling. I’m so glad to see that you have a blog where people can continue to read your comics. I’ll keep an eye on them, and point others your way.
    It was great to hear what a positive experience this project was and is for you, and the joy in your voice! We will miss you here at Wooster, but really look forward to following your work. All my best wishes for the future, Pres. Bolton

  32. Hey Samantha. Thank you for sharing this beautiful world :). Congratulations and I wish you the best!

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