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(Polarity #1-4)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  559 ratings  ·  85 reviews
From the mind of SAY ANYTHING frontman Max Bemis comes POLARITY, a manic-depressive spin on the superhero genre. Timothy Woods is a bipolar artist stuck in the world of hipsters, meaningless sex, and vain art -- better known as Brooklyn. But after he survives a near fatal car accident, Timothy discovers that his mental instability is more than just a disorder, and that his ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published December 10th 2013 by BOOM! Studios (first published May 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  559 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Hold. The. Phone.

A Boom comic that’s not total poop? That’s unexpected! Polarity’s about a bipolar artist but it’s full of things I liked and didn’t like that I’m gonna sound a bit bipolar myself in this review as I go from one end of the spectrum to the other!

Tim is a bipolar Brooklyn hipster artist whose work is the toast of the art scene. Then his hipster girlfriend Alexis informs him that his new work - the work he’s produced while he’s been taking his prescribed medication - is boring and
Star Rating: 3.5 Stars!

I love Max Bemis. I really do. I see Say Anything every time they tour, especially if his wife, Sherri DuPree Bemis is with (Their song, Cemetery ft. Sherri is my hubby and my song- I even have a line of the lyrics tattooed on me). He’s hella talented... anyone who can write songs as fast as he does- QUALITY songs at that- (it’s like- honestly crazy how much and how fast he can write) amazes me.

I’m not sure how someone unfamiliar with his musical works and such would take
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it
So, let’s be straight up about this: If you’re not familiar with Max’s musical work, frankly, I don’t know how you’ll read this piece. I don’t know what it’s like without the lens of topic familiarity intact and glued to your eye. However, if you’ve listened to Say Anything’s work beyond "That One Phone Sex Song That Was Popular in High School" and "Holocaust Love Song (That was Uncomfortably Featured in that Movie Where the Kid Drowns)," you know that Max’s work is extremely masturbatory, and ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Written by the lead singer of Say Anything, there is enough text here for multiple albums. The story is pretty good, but does get bogged down from the amount of text.

Tim is your average bi-polar hipster living in Brooklyn, tired of living a muted life from taking his meds. So one night he decides to do some drugs to get that spark back. All of a sudden he can read people's minds. It turns out he's not just paranoid from using drugs, people are spying on him. Turns out his psychiatrist is
Emma Sea
Good art, for an uneven story, with a Bechdel test fail. I loved the first two chapters, and the beginning of the third, but found the conclusion a bit of a letdown. The cover gallery at the back is a lovely bonus. 3.5 stars, rounded up.

White male narcissism? Check.
Manic pixie dream girl? Check.
Mental illness as a device to justify megalomania? Check.
A protagonist who derides hipster culture while embodying the same vapid characteristics? Check.

The art caught my eye, so I bought this without realizing the author was the frontman of one of those interchangeable scene bands that proliferated in the mid-aughts. Perhaps it improves after the first issue, but I'm not particularly interested in finding out.
Stephen Brophy
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have never heard of Max Bemis or his band, Say Anything (though I do know the film they took the title from) so I didn't come into this with any preconceived notions--except for the fact that I don't put a lot of faith in indie rock darlings using their clout to break into comics writing after struggling through the first volume of Gerard Way's (very popular and much-lauded, I know) Umbrella Academy. But this one took me by surprise. I took a chance because BOOM had it at a bargain price on ...more
Sean Whatshisface
Apr 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was awful. I want those 40 minutes of my life back. If I wanted to read about some tragic self-important douchebag, I'd have read a John Green novel..... and honestly, comparing the two is kinda unfair to John Green.
Alex Ehrler
Nov 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Say Anything frontman Max Bemis has taken nods from musician/comic writer Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance, formally, and now out on his own with a solo record) and set out to make a name for himself in the comic book biz. Personally, I find it admirable that any artist is willing to make earnest steps out from his creative bubble and try out something, mm, new, rather than settling for "oh I'm a musician, so that's all I am--no one will take me seriously if I try anything else" trap that most ...more
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Timothy is an artist with Bipolar Disorder, who happens to create way better art when he ditches his meds. Of course, he also falls into a deep mania where he doesn't sleep and might just walk into the street half naked and get hit by a car (again). After his hipster-queen girlfriend says his art sucks now, he flushes all his medications and purposefully goes manic, bringing on the aforementioned paranoia and other symptoms. Only someone really is watching him, and he really does have the super ...more
Summary: Tim is manic depressive, and when he has a mania, he feels like a super hero. But then he finds out that he is a super hero!

What I liked:
- A manic depressive super hero is a tough subject matter. On one hand you can't trivialise the mental illness, but on the other, you can't get too deeply into it either. Max Bemis handles the subject respectfully and doesn't sugar-coat the reality of living with a mental illness
- Gah, it's such a good read! Tim in his depressive state is
This is a four part mini series that talked about mental health in a form of fictionalized superpowered human being. Just imagine that a shady organization had given a psychologist/psychiatrist the power to create superpowered mental freaks. The prose on the monologue tells a unique perspective of an artist with manic-depressive type of disorder, where his doctor gave him pill to unlock super human prowess that could only work when he is 1. High 2. Delusional 3. or when he's just taking the pill ...more
Stewart Tame
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Better than I was expecting. I was expecting your basic one-gimmick superhero book, but the writer managed to do some interesting things with the concept. It's ultimately fluff, but it's well-crafted fluff. The book reaches a satisfying conclusion just about the point where it's starting to wear thin. Pretty good. Hopefully they resist the temptation to do a sequel.
Feb 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was a good read. Well worth the time and attention. Good writing and well drawn vibrant images. Is this going to be your new favorite comic? Nope. Does the story have holes? Yep. Is it still entertaining? Yep! Plus it dives into an unseen before storyline.
Yomna hosny
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was both hilarious and emotionally engaging. I liked it very very much ;)
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, owned
Can one actually write a decent review when sick and medicated? Probably not. But this is a graphic novel I will be pushing for any and everyone I know to read. So stay tuned friends!
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics-matt2019
The main charater Tim narrates the story. It's interesting to see what he thinks of the world around him when the medication for his bipolar disorder is keeping him rational and analytic. And sarcastic - the fun part of the story. When he gets off the medication, all bets are off and he goes rogue, but his inner monologue is no less funny. If you're looking for an anguished character with a tragic story, this isn't it. Worse, there are superpowered individuals in the story, so be warned.

Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This book is problematic. Mainly because it endorses the notion that you’re only worthwhile (or at least more worthwhile) - as an artist, a love interest, a person, etc. - if you’re damaged (psychologically). That’s a really shitty premise.

This is also written by the former lead of an emo/screamo band, and the way he writes about the current music/cultural scene just comes across as bitter, hateful, a little petty.

That said, I actually enjoyed this book. I really liked the art, and Bemis can
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A fascinating, if niche, examination of living with bipolar disorder through the lens of a superhero comic-style. Niche because its also centered around the hipster scene but that's understandable when you look at the author's background.

I enjoyed it despite not being the target audience at all.
Steven Zoeller
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
Neither the dumpster fire I feared nor the profound generational statement it aspires to be.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: readitandlovedit
One of the most interesting perspectives on mental illness I have read in a long time. Fantastic artwork and storyline. I definitely recommend reading this!
Sadie Oldenkamp
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
The premise was really great, but a lot of the dialog relied really heavily on outdated pop culture references.
Rachel Simone
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-harder-2019
The art and plot / idea of this comic is really cool and interesting. I was surprised to find that the dialogue and writing left something to be desired. There were a couple of parts that were a little rushed. Quick and worth reading.
Krystl Louwagie
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Was interesting, artwork adequate but didn't move me a lot.
Thom Dunn
Mar 04, 2014 rated it liked it
As much as I enjoy Say Anything (the band fronted by writer Max Bemis), I was hesitant to pick up this comic because, well, the premise sounds exactly like the pseudo-autobiographical premise of their first album "...Is A Real Boy," which kindofsortamaybe chronicled Bemis's descent into super-powered bi-polar disorder -- except that, while recording said album, Max Bemis was actually diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and locked himself up for a while. But, the book was on sale for $4 on ...more
Chie Alemán
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mental-illness
3.5 Stars rounded up to 4. Full review, with images, available on

Many people who experience a manic episode report feeling special, powerful, invincible. But what if those feelings weren't delusions? What if, during a manic episode, an individual really became a superhero?

That's the conceit behind Polarity, a short graphic novel about a 20-something artist with bipolar disorder. He's fairly recently diagnosed and feeling disillusioned with his life, longing
Matt LeFevers
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I don't normally idolize the musicians I like, but Say Anything comes close. I have every album they have ever released, each of the limited-edition solo discs Max Bemis would home-record and sell on tour, his Two Tongues project with Chris Conley, and the CD he just released with his wife Sherri from Eisley. In fact, I literally started listening to Eisley when Max married their singer (I now own all their albums). So when Max Bemis tweeted (did I mention I originally signed up for Twitter just ...more
Gnome Novels
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it liked it
this isn't easy to review as the book isn't that easy to read.

first off, this is another book written by a musician, max bemis, and accompanied there's a small EP you can download for free if you buy the book (code in the back of the trade). I really like that kind of thing, it adds a new level of...understanding the emotions of the main character.

the whole book is about bipolarity and that makes it difficult in some aspects. I'm not bipolar so I can only try to imagine how that feels. Tim,
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Polarity (4 books)
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