Role-playing games can be hard, but life is harder. It’s a lesson that the already anxious Maggie learns when she enters middle school in Veronica Agarwal and Lee Durfey-Lavoie’s upcoming graphic novel Just Roll With It. Maggie navigates life by rolling a 20-sided die whenever she gets nervous, and she gets nervous a lot... and that was before a monster seemingly arrives at her school, as you can see in this exclusive preview.
Just Roll With It is definitely for kids, but it’s also about Maggie’s struggle with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. “Just Roll With It aims to open a dialogue about mental health for young readers and give them some terminology to help navigate talking about it,” said artist Veronica Agarwal.
“I’m the oldest of eight brothers and sisters and I felt a lot of responsibility to do good,” added Durfey-Lavoie, who’s making his comics debut with the graphic novel. “So when I first started to feel feelings of anxiety and depression I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t even know if what I was feeling was real—that maybe everybody felt that way and I was just not strong enough to handle it. So to me, that’s what I wanted Just Roll With It to be: something to give voice, and direction, to children.”
In this preview, Maggie researches OCD, fails to do her science homework, and first learns of the monster, which she envisions as a dragon as per her favorite table-top RPG. “Her anxiety starts working overtime,” says Agarwal. “Small things that she had always done—saying hello to the house when she gets home, or rolling her dice to help make decisions—suddenly start to impede on her day-to-day life. As the story continues, Maggie has to face the fact that sometimes the things that protect you from potential danger also protect you from potential fun.”
Just Roll With It will be available on December 14.
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