James Gunn Suffered From Depression, Says Escapism Through Comics and Music Helped

James Gunn Suffered From Depression, Says Escapism Through Comics and Music Helped

Posted by May 8, 2017 Comment

Marvel directorial darling James Gunn is pretty awesome. Love or hate his films (but really HOW COULD YOU HATE Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 & 2?!?), you have to admire Gunn’s normal guy-ness.

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Ever-present on social media, James posted this on his Facebook page on Saturday, the day after his Marvel-ous sequel Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opened worldwide:


The main points are his mentions of being a depressed kid:

When I was young I felt utterly alone, at times to the point of suicidal thoughts. I never felt like I belonged, had an incredibly difficult time connecting to other people and, despite having love around me, I had an impossible time experiencing it, or taking it in.

Having someone so visible in current popular culture openly talk about such things helps. Even if you haven’t experienced this type of thing yourself, I absolutely guarantee you someone you love has. The more these feelings are talked about, the more we can understand how to help someone who has them. Kids, especially.

Gunn went on to say that he used comics and music to transcend the bullshit of that annoying voice of depression that keeps you down:

I found my respite in popular entertainment – Marvel comics, science fiction and horror films, the music of The Sex Pistols, The Replacements, and Queen. Suddenly I could see past the bland suburbs where I lived into a more magical world, a world more aligned with what I imagined. Sometimes these works were simply escapist fantasies that distracted me from the difficulties of my internal life. But other times, in the strongest moments – maybe through the words of Alice Cooper or Freddie Mercury, through Cronenberg films, or even in Chewbacca’s growl, I experienced something deeper – the realization that I wasn’t completely alone. Someone out there was as weird and strange and whacked out as I was.

It’s no surprise then that his record-breaking films about a group of misfits who don’t really fit in anywhere except for when they’re together resonates with so many who’ve felt similarly in their lives.

Through art (yes, comics and comic movies are art), we find peace, therapy, and oftentimes each other.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently in theaters worldwide.

(Last Updated May 8, 2018 10:47 am )

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About Mary Anne Butler

Bleeding Cool News Editor Mary Anne Butler (Mab, for short) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), and most recently Bleeding Cool.



Over the past 10 years, she’s built a presence at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always). 



Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence. 



Though she be but little, she is fierce. #MabTheProfessional

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