Writing in progress
Publication date: TBC
102% funded
252 backers

A graphic novel about grief, madness, and the ghosts that haunt us

Loss is a complicated & utterly individual experience, as is a mental health crisis. When the two collide the effects can be devastating. It very nearly was for me. I was twenty-three and living abroad when my dad died suddenly. When I took that phone call, in that moment of complete loss my mind imploded and reformed into a black, writhing mess. I had been shoved sideways into a new reality that it later turned out I couldn’t cope with. My mental health crisis reached a crescendo one night, endangering both myself & a friend. I was fortunate that, during this time in my life with my finger hovering over my self destruct button, I managed not to badly harm myself or others and was not sectioned. Not everyone is so lucky.
Barking is the story of Alix Otto who is in the grip of such a crisis. She will not be one of the lucky ones. 

Alix is having a very bad day. Easily her worst so far.
A year after they fished her friend’s body from the river, Alix finds herself haunted, chased and driven to the brink by… what? 
Figments of her addled mind? 
Delusions from too much booze and not enough sleep? 
Sectioned and left in the hands of an umbrella health system, Alix is about to find out just how fine a line it is between the sane world and the psychiatric ward at St. Judes.
In recent years the stigma around mental health is slowly being dissolved. Yet cases of depression, anxiety and self harm are rising rapidly, particularly in the young and especially in young women. I still find it rare to hear of stories like mine, of the rage that can take over you when triggered by a stress, such as grief. The more I talk to other people and hear their stories, the more I realise there’s so much still to say. 
This full length graphic novel will be an allegorical tale, over ten chapters, based around the experience of myself and others in that time of crisis. For me, as a life-long comic fan, a graphic novel was the perfect medium for this tale and by telling my story as a parable it allows me to be honest about my experience. Through the use of evocative imagery and playing with dialogue I hope to convey how such a moment can feel and hopefully, encourage other sufferers to open up and tell their stories too.

10% of the author’s revenue from each Hardback will be donated to MQ: Transforming Mental Health, Charity No. 1139916 & Scotland SCO46075.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Lucy Sullivan is a freelance artist, animator and functioning dysthymic. As an avid comic fan, book reader and film enthusiast she enjoys telling stories and exploring new ways and materials to illustrate them. Alongside drawing and writing Barking, Lucy is developing a series of mini-comics called 1in4 Zines to further explore issues around mental health.


Graduating from Kingston University in 2005 with BA (Hons) in Illustration & Animation, Lucy has taught Life Drawing, Location Drawing & Observational Drawing for Animation at Kingston University, Westminster University & London College of Communication (University of the Arts London).


As a member of ‘Smuggling Peanuts’ animation collective, Lucy Co-Directed & Animated Music Videos for Coldcut 'Just For The Kick' & One Eskimo 'Hometime'. Both were nominated in ‘Best of’ categories at various film & animation festivals with ‘Hometime’ winning Public Choice: Best Music Video at the British Animation Awards 2008.


She has drawn special effects images and story boards for film and illustrated backgrounds for Television. She continues to develop her fine art practice by drawing on location, a technique that will be used for some of the environments in Barking. Whilst challenging her observational skills through life drawing and painting.

A sneak peek at the interiors:


And she is done!

Monday, 15 July 2019

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Hello Barking Supporters,

I'm chuffed to say the artwork, new cover design and writing for Barking is now complete and in the very capable hands of Lizzie Kaye, our Graphic Novel Editor extraordinaire at Unbound. Lizzie will be editing, proof reading and generally making sure I haven't created an unfathomable storyline and once it meets with…

Into the End Game

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

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Hello Barking Supporters!

I’m popping by to let you know how progress is going on BARKING & very happy to report that it is now going into the final stages. I’m beyond excited to add that my graphic novel will also be getting a unique font designed by the ever talented Dan Berry. If you are unfamiliar with Dan’s multiplicity of talents alongside creating fonts Dan also creates comics and illustrations…

Exciting Barking News, Part 2!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

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Hello Barking Supporters,

I am delighted to say that on Friday Barking reached 100% & is now full funded! 

This is thanks to a generous contribution from my new collaborators The Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Alongside the public funds from National Lottery/ Arts Council England and every single one of you my graphic novel will be going to print this year. 

I can now also say that…

Exciting News... Part 1!

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

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Hello Barking Supporters,

Just a quick update with the first part of some exciting news for BARKING.

I'm delighted to say the project will be supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

This means a whole gamut of exciting events I've been working on for months will be going ahead. Including talks on comics and mental…

CCZF - Sunday December 9th

Monday, 3 December 2018

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Hello Barking Supporters,

A warm hello to those of you who have recently pledged and a big wave to Page 45 in Nottingham who have taken up the Retailers package to be the 1st Comic shop to officially stock BARKING on it's release. I'm very excited about it and can highly recommend Page 45 for your comic and graphic novel needs as I'm a regualr online customer. November…

Witches & Crows Debut

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

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Hello Barking Supporters,

Just a quick update before I take a couple of weeks break for the end of Summer. This Wednesday, 22nd August, marks a very special day for me. Not only is it New Comic Books Day but the first time I will have work published in a major Comics title. Jeff Lemire, a creator of otherworldly tales & a mind boggling abundancy of award…

Still Barking!

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

In progress

Hello Barking Supporters & a very warm welcome to recent pledgers.

Apologies for the recent radio silence. I've have been busy working on a couple of exciting commissions. Both are outside of Barking but not unconnected as they have come to me from supporters. I can't say much at this stage but the first of them in due out in comic shops next month. I will be loudly banging a drum about it as soon…

Small Press Day at Dave’s Comics

Thursday, 5 July 2018

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  Hello Barking Supporters & a very warm welcome to my recent pledgers!

Apologies for the recent radio silence, I’ve been busily working on an exciting commission and looking forward to telling you more about it soon. But today marks a landmark for BARKING as it has reached a 1/3rd funded!! There are now 134 of you lovely readers and I’m very grateful for…

Quarters and Thirds

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Ch4 update 1


Hello Supporters,

Thought it was probably time for a quick update on all things Barking!

Funding is now nearly at 30%, it must be a whisker away and going in the right direction. Thank you to all of you supporting my book so far and a warm welcome to those that have joined more recently. Your support and generosity is very much appreciated. Work on the book is…

Funding & Exhibition news

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

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Hello Barking Supporters,

A quick progress report on happenings at House of Barking.

Funding progresses upwards!! Thanks toall of you for backing my book and helping it come to print. Chapters 1-2 are available as an e-comic now. Please sign in at Unbound & check the updates for a link to 'Barking Supporters E-Comic'

Chapter 3 is completed and 4 is nearly fully sketched. There will be 10…

Comics chat & Barking on Declaration of Independents Podcast

Monday, 5 February 2018

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Hello Barking Supporters & warmest February welcome to those who have just joined.

I hope you have seen the update for your E-Comic of Chapter 1. If not please log in at http://unbound.com, visit the Barking page & check the updates. If you have any problems just email me & I’ll send the PDF sharpish! Also if you’ve pledged for a limited edition print please email me your postal address as they…

Farewell January, hello Charity

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

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Hello Supporters & another warm welcome to our newest members,

As we come to the end of January I can honestly say it’s the best one I’ve had in a long time. Earlier in the month I presented Barking at Laydeez Do comics. This was the first time I’ve spoken about the personal nature of my book in public and I won’t lie, I was extremely nervous. Particularly as it was in January ’01 that I had my…

Join me at Laydeez Do Comics

Friday, 5 January 2018

Happy New Year Supporters and a very warm welcome to those of you who pledged over the Festive Season.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the break and your return to life as normal has been a smooth one.

If you are in the London area please join me at Laydeez Do Comics this Monday Evening from 7pm-9pm.

LDC is somewhere between a book club and a TedX talk. Every month two creators are invited to talk…

A Very Messy Barkmass!

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Merry barkmass

Dear Lovely Supporters,

I wish you all a magic Christmas and a fruitful & upbeat New Year.

Thank you for supporting Barking.

Best Seasonal Wishes,

Lucy, Alix & The Black Dog

(He loves a Cracker..)

Risographs, Blogs & Colds!

Friday, 8 December 2017

Barkmas riso

Hello my lovely Supporters,

A very warm welcome to my new pledgers of Barking. December has brought many things sadly most are viral. As those of you who have or are around young children know it’s not only a festive month but one of colds, flus and ear infections. Naturally this means a slowdown on Barking but there is still much happening.

This month I've joined forces with Kay Szczypiorsk…


Friday, 24 November 2017

Update 1

Hello my lovely supporters!

It's coming to the end of the first week of campaigning for BARKING. A week that has left me thrilled, delighted and a little overwhelmed by your generosity and so I would like to say thank you. 

In creating this story I knew I would have to expose a side of myself and a time in my life that I still feel quite ashamed by. That feeling is entirely why I am so passionate…

These people are helping to fund Barking.

Rhel ná DecVandé
Samir Hamid
jonathan clode
Ben Will Stirk
Suzi Bratt
James Paterson
Daniel Poitras
James Mewis
Dean Beswick
Derek Mantle
Daniel Bristow-Bailey
You Kyung Kim
Kornel Kossuth
Carlo Navato
Crash Reynolds
Lyndon White
Elizabeth Kaye
Lakes International Comics Festival
Maximilian Hawker
James Kennedy
Damon Herd
Lazlo Burns
Jacquelyn Guderley
Jane Glynn
Fred McNamara
Samuel Williams
Michael Kowalski
Catherine Makin
Amandeep Uppal
Alan Sims
John Miers
Carolina Martins
Esme Pears
James Murray
Matthew Shiell
Aaron Losty
Anonymous Donor
Barbara Chamberlin
Zoe Marsh
Dorry Spikes
Jodi Shadforth
Lesley Macniven
Stuart Linfield
Tom Woodman
Alister Black
Grace Kaluba
Peter Gouldson
An anonymous donor
Nick Bryan
Anna Mitman
Hannah Gilbert
Cliff Cumber
Gareth Hopkins
Anna Readman
Rees Finlay
Camille Aubry
Tim Bird
Stafforini Aixa
Sarah Harris
Elizabeth Simmonds
View all supporters
Simon Russell
Simon Russell asked:

these drawings look fascinating and I'm wanting to back it. The subject is interesting, the artwork captivating, but £20 for 'a book' is a little too vague. A common problem with Unbound seems to be the lack of detail on their projects...
Can you fill in a few gaps please?
How many pages?
What size?
Planned publication timetable?

Lucy Sullivan
Lucy Sullivan replied:

Hi Simon, Thanks for your question. Barking will be 10 chapters long so over 100 pages in size. That’s graphic novel length. It'll be printed in UK Standard comics size (H:240 x W:170cm) in Black & White. The screen might not show it but there’s a lot of detail in the blacks. I have nearly finished 3 chapters so 7 more to go! It’s a lot of work to write, draw & layout but I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of this year. If you pledge for the 1st Edition Hardback you’ll also get an E-Book copy, your name in the back, regular updates with previews and a digital version of the first 2 chapters very soon. Thanks for your nice comments about my book, I really hope you’ll join my supporters. If you would like any more info please just ask another question. Best wishes, Lucy

Daniel Eckhart
Daniel Eckhart asked:

Hi Lucy - I'm one of your supporters - I see funding stands at 41% - what's the funding goal and when's the funding deadline? I'd love to help promote this further, also within my company - mental health is a hugely important topic and I feel your project would be one that could help raise awareness to a great extent.

Come to think of it - where in the UK are you? My employer in London and I might be able to organize something that could be a funding drive / awareness session with you and employees. Would you basically be interested?

Thanks for letting me know.

Lucy Sullivan
Lucy Sullivan replied:

Hi Daniel, thanks for getting in touch & for your very generous pledge!
There is no deadline with Unbound and I'm aiming for around £13K for funding, to print the pledged books and includes a trade run to get it into mainstream retailers. The most common pledge is for the Hardback at £20 so as you can imagine that's a lot of books and for comics people it's a lot of money too. I'm trying to get the numbers up as much as I can but any help promoting would be greatly appreciated! I'm on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook under @LucySullivanUK.
I'm really pleased to hear your company is taking mental health seriously, the workplace can be quite a major trigger for some people. I have recently become and ambassador for MQ & will hopefully be able to spread the word about mental health a bit more with their support. However I would be delighted to do an awareness session or talk if you think they would be interested. I'm based in London too & in a very commutable spot! My email is lucysullivanuk.com@gmail.com and I would be more than happy to discuss this further. Please get in touch. Thank you for thinking of me and offering to help!
Best wishes, Lucy

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