Ellen Forney

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Ellen Forney muses in her studio in 2015

Ellen Forney (born March 8, 1968) is an American cartoonist and educator. She is known for her autobiographic comics, which included I was Seven in '75 , I Love Led Zepellin, and Marbles. She teaches at the Cornish College of the Arts.


Forney received a B.A. degree from Wesleyan University, where she majored in psychology.[1]

In the 1990s, she produced the autobiographical strip I Was Seven in '75, which ran in Seattle's alternative-weekly paper The Stranger.[2] She self-published a collection in 1997 with a Xeric Foundation grant.[3] A complete collection was published as Monkey Food by Fantagraphics in 1999.

In 2006 she published I Love Led Zeppelin, which collected comics she had done for various newspapers and magazines, and included collaborations with Margaret Cho, Kristin Gore, Camille Paglia, and Dan Savage.[1] It was nominated for an Eisner Award as Best Reality-Based Comic.[4][5] In 2007 she illustrated Sherman Alexie's young-adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which won the National Book Award.[6][7][8] In 2008 she published Lust which adapted personal ads from The Stranger into illustrated/comics form.[9]

Her graphic memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me[10] addressed her experiences with Bipolar Disorder.[11] It was published by Penguin Books' Gotham Books imprint in November 2012.[12][13]

In 2016, Forney produced two murals, Crossed Pinkies and Walking Fingers, that were installed in the new Capitol Hill light rail station in Seattle, Washington.[14]

Forney's 2018 book Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life is a graphic self-help guide, published by Fantagraphics.

She is based in Seattle, Washington.

Personal life[edit]

Forney is bisexual.[15]


  • 2013 : Inkpot Award[16]
  • 2013 National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis "Gradiva" winner in Art for Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir[17]
  • 2012 Stranger Genius Award winner for Literature [18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Benedetti, Winda (August 7, 2006). "Seattle cartoonist Ellen Forney embraces our oddities". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  2. ^ "Comic creator: Ellen Forney | Lambiek Comiclopedia". Lambiek.net. 2007-02-16. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  3. ^ "Ellen Forney - "I'm Okay, You're Okay!" (vol III/iss 2/February 2000)". Sequential Tart. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  4. ^ The Comics Reporter
  5. ^ [1] Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Philly-linked artist adds life to award-winning book". Philly.com. 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  7. ^ Hiskes, Jonathan (December 10, 2008). "Northwest Fiction Rooted in the Region". Seattle, WA: Crosscut. Retrieved 2011-08-20.
  8. ^ http://www.thetowerlight.com/2011/10/qa-with-cartoonist-ellen-forney/
  9. ^ Graves, Jen (February 13, 2008). "New in Books". The Stranger. Archived from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  10. ^ "Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir: Ellen Forney: 9781592407323: Amazon.com: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  11. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/18/bipolar-disorder-ellen-forney_n_5823138.html
  12. ^ The Bipolar Cartoonist: Ellen Forney’s ‘Marbles’, Publishers Weekly. By Grace Bello. November 05, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
  13. ^ David Low, Forney ’89 Writes Graphic Novel on Bipolar Disorder, The Wesleyan Connection (Wesleyan University), 2012-11-15. Accessed 2012-11-17.
  14. ^ Graves, Jen (December 9, 2015). "How Ellen Forney Got the Right Pair of Hands for Her Capitol Hill Light Rail Station Mural". The Stranger. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  15. ^ Bello, Grace (November 7, 2012). "Page Turner: Ellen Forney". Curve.
  16. ^ list of Inkpot Award:Comic-Con
  17. ^ National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis 2013 "Gradiva" Awards Archived 2014-03-05 at the Wayback Machine., naap.org. Accessed online 2014-03-04.
  18. ^ The Stranger Genius Awards: The Event, thestranger.com. Accessed online 2012-11-21.

External links[edit]