Every day Madelyn Freed draws a demon. She began earlier this year after reading cartoonist Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons, about a man who has to overcome 100 demons in his life. The story inspired Freed to face—then deface—some demons of her own. “Through exercise, I’ll exorcize!” she vowed. For 59 days she’s drawn out her monsters one by one.
Freed, who showcases the demons on her blog, Demon a Day, has a goal of 100, but she expects to continue beyond that. “I think that’s when I’ll start getting into grooves. The more you do them, the weirder they can get.” The creepiest so far, she thinks, was “the real problem,” which Freed drew on day 47. “It’s this maggot thing enveloping a body. You can’t even make the body out, and the real problem is, ‘You’ll never be good enough.'”
She finds the most successful are often the funniest. “What I really want is someone not to provide sympathy but to laugh at trauma and the toughness of it. I think demons help me to do that because they’re about things that bother me. But I’m joking about them, so that allows other people to joke with me.”
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