For Chris Grady, it's all about bringing a little happiness into other people's lives. Grady, who teaches outdoor education and media/technology to elementary-aged students in Toronto, is the creator of Lunarbaboon, a comic series that deals with the sweet and sour issues that many of us face in our daily lives.
Many of Grady's Lunarbaboon comics deal with the daily ups and downs of parenting. But he also hits at the heart of personal issues such as depression and anxiety as well as issues such as homophobia, xenophobia and sexism that we deal with in society every day.
Grady speaks from firsthand experience when he writes about depression and anxiety. In fact, he started Lunarbaboon as a means of coping with his own issues.
"I was struggling with depression and anxiety at the time and felt like I needed a place to put my dark thoughts and to use my sense of humor to combat these dark thoughts," Grady told MNN.
Grady's comics help to lift his spirits, as does the positive response he gets from his dedicated fan base. "The comics don't make me feel better, but while I am making them I tend to focus more and this helps alleviate some of the stress," Grady says. "What helps the most lately is the positive reaction the comics get from people who read them. I love hearing that the comics are a bright point in people's day."
In addition to his comics on personal issues, Grady also writes and draws about some of the troubling issues facing the world today.
According to Grady, his inspiration for Lunarbaboon comes from the circles in which he lives. "My family circle, my community circle, my world circle, and of course my internal circle," says Grady. "There is an endless amount of material to write about out there if you just stop for a bit and listen and observe."
With more than 944,000 likes on Facebook, 272,000 followers on Instagram, and 40,000 followers on Twitter, Grady's message seems to resonate with many who are looking for the light at the end of their dark tunnels.
And if following on social media isn't enough, there's a compilation of Grady’s comics in a book, "Lunarbaboon: The Daily Life of Parenthood," released a few months ago. As one reviewer on Amazon put it, "It's nice to read when things feel overwhelming since there's a sense, of 'yeah, this is how parenting and life is, but hey it's a lot of fun too.' And that is an awesome thing to be reminded of."