Named a Best Graphic Novel of 2012 by Washington Post, Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, East Bay Express (SF Bay), BookExpo America, SELF Magazine, & Publishers Weekly

Winner of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis 2013 Gradiva Award

Seven foreign editions, including French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Czech translations


“Memoir Traces How Cartoonist Lost Her 'Marbles,'” Interview on NPR's Morning Edition, with René Montagne [listen] [more interviews]

“Ellen Forney’s greatest strength as a cartoonist is her gift for explanation — getting information across with vigor, wit and visual inventiveness.”—New York Times full text

“Forney's words are eloquent, but my words here don't do justice to the quality, intensity and surprising flexibility of her cartooning, which represents her up, down and quotidian moments with flair and, yes, creativity.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel full text

“This book is brilliant; not just because it’s witty, beautiful and honest, but because there’s something we all can relate to.”—Seattle Star full text

“Fearless … authentic”—Los Angeles Times full text

“An exhilarating, immensely enjoyable graphic memoir …Brutally honest and deeply moving, the book is by turns dark, mordant, and hilarious…. one of this year's best American memoirs.”—Philadelphia Inquirer full text

“MARBLES is, at turns, funny, quirky, uplifting, and desperate… Ultimately, it’s a book that peers deep inside for answers…and challenges other artists to do the same”— full text

“I'd say MARBLES is part opera, part genius performance art. Who gets to be crazy brilliant? Ellen Forney does.”—Bookslut full text

“With honesty and humor, Forney describes the challenges of coming to terms with her diagnosis.”—Portland Mercury full text

“Forney handles the topic with a deft touch, mixing the pain with humor in a way that radiates liveliness.”—Seattle Met full text

“Is it weird to call a memoir about bipolar disorder entertaining? Well, this one is, thanks to the ease with which Forney translates her vivacious, fearless personality to the page. … Forney has a virtuosic understanding of what words and images can do in congress, playing them off one another in ways that allow her pages to be more than the sum of their parts. … No matter what she's experiencing, Forney wants you to be there with her. Chances are, if you have even a passing interest in nonfiction comics, psychology or what it means to be creative, you'll want to be there, too.”—NPR, Myla Goldberg  full text

“Sprinkled with plenty of self-deprecating humor, Forney’s story is relatable and entertaining, in spite of its heavy subject matter.”—Seattle Magazine

“MARBLES isn't just a great story; it's proof that artists don't have to be tortured to be brilliant. ‘A’”—Entertainment Weekly

“Forney’s exhilarating and enlightening autobiographical portrait of her bipolar disorder (otherwise known as manic depression), takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster, an authentic evocation of the author’s journey. Her clear and thoughtful art provides a powerful, effective and brilliant illumination of this unforgettable adventure.”—Miami Herald

“Until she was 30 Forney took for granted her creative spark, her love of life, her obsessive exercise, her impulsive, polymorphous sexuality. They were just who she were. Then she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and suddenly she found herself having to figure out how where her mental illness ended and she began, and whether her art was separable from her madness.”—Time Magazine

“In MARBLES, cartoonist Ellen Forney’s life-altering journey through  mental illness is graphically exposed in more ways than one…Forney’s quest to discover whether her mental illness is necessary to her art is a timeless, not to mention relevant, one.”—Bust Magazine

“Forney, with a darkly funny honesty and powerful imagery, illustrates what it means to have a disease that affects only 1 or 2 percent of the adult population—but that most people are afraid to talk about.. Forney depicts depression elegantly.”—Curve Magazine

“Witty and insightful…The long journey of medication and therapy is kept from gloom by Forney’s lively, likable cartooning … Readers struggling with their own mania or depression will find Forney good company, and others searching for insight into the minds of troubled artists will find Forney an engaging storyteller.”—Starred Publishers Weekly

“Not only does her conversational intimacy draw readers in, but her drawings perfectly capture the exhilarating frenzy of mania and the dark void of depression….Forney’s story should resonate with those grappling with similar issues, while her artistry should appeal to a wide readership.”—Starred Kirkus Reviews

“Ellen Forney's memoir of her bipolar diagnosis and long pharmacopic trek toward balance is painfully honest and joyously exuberant. Her drawings evoke the neuron-crackling high of mania and the schematic bleakness of depression with deft immediacy. Forney is at the height of her powers as she explores the tenuous line between mood disorders and creativity itself.”—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home, and the #1 New York Times Bestseller Are You My Mother

“Dense with intellectual and emotional power, Forney's book is a treasure—as a memoir, as an artwork, and as a beautifully conceived and executed commentary on both mental experience and the creative life. With wit, humor, a wicked sense of the absurd, and eloquent insight into the beauty that shines through the mercurial life of the mind, this graphic memoir explores its subject with a particular precision and power. Forney should be read.”—Marya Hornbacher, bestselling author of Madness: A Bipolar Life

“Ellen's work has always been hilarious and sharp, but Marbles has an emotional resonance that shows new depth as an artist and a writer. This is an extremely personal, brave, and rewarding book.”—Dan Savage

“Marbles is the kind of transformative work that changes an artist's career forever…It's a massive leap in form and content from her other work. The relationship between the pictures and words has changed—at times, the pages look less like comics and more like handwritten illuminated manuscripts.”—The Stranger (Seattle)

“By tackling some of the most difficult questions about the disease, including its relation to creativity and the role of medication and therapy, Forney pulls her readers into uncomfortable terrain and miraculously gets them to enjoy every minute of it.”—Melody Moezzi, Bipolar Magazine columnist

“I have always admired Ellen Forney's humor and honesty, but Marbles is a major leap forward. It's a hilarious memoir about mental illness, yes, but it's also an incisive study of what it means to be human and how we ache to become better humans. Amazing stuff.”—Sherman Alexie, bestselling author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

“Funny yet harrowing…Forney’s perceptive, lively art keeps the story fresh”—Publishers Weekly, named a Top 10 Comic & Graphic Novel for Fall 2012

“Marbles is an honest and, at times, brutal exploration of Forney's experience as a woman with bipolar disorder.”—Brookline Booksmith Book Blog

Selected interviews:

The Guardian, “Ellen Forney: a graphic memoir of bipolar disorder”

Lambda Literary, “Ellen Forney: Losing One’s Marbles”

The Comics Reporter, “Holiday Interview: Ellen Forney”

MTV, “Interview: Ellen Forney On Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, And 'Marbles'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “The Next Page / Mental illness, in pictures”

Philadelphia Inquirer, “A Life of Ups and Downs” 

Boingboing RiYL podcast

Curve, “Page Turner: Ellen Forney: The bisexual cartoonist’s memoir ‘Marbles’ graphically portrays her mental disorder”

Rookie, “It’s Your Story: An Interview With Ellen Forney”