The Hallway Closet is a remarkable new graphic novel about living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), providing a fresh look at the condition from the point of view of someone who truly understands: the book's 16-year-old author and illustrator, Evi Tampold.
The title references a safe zone Tampold would retreat to at home when her ADHD symptoms felt overwhelming. Edited by Tampold's mother, educator Carol Nash PhD, the 26-page paperback highlights the importance of families working together to develop coping strategies. It was created over three months and presented by the daughter-mother team at the 6th annual Comics and Medicine Conference, July 2015.
"Since the theme of the conference was spaces of care, I decided I would write about my ADHD, and how I was ultimately able to control it by developing self-control over the years through the helpful partnership I had, and still have, with my mother," Tampold says. "It was a huge success at the conference! I couldn't be happier with the results of this project:'
A portion of the book's proceeds will be donated to Alpha II Alternative School, a public school for grades 7-12 Nash co-founded with the Toronto District School Board. At Alpha II, young people are enabled to self-direct their learning and be part of a community where school-wide decisions are made by taking each person's point of view into consideration.
"The Hallway Closet is more than a personal statement by an imaginative teenager. Evi Tampold has created a highly accessible graphic narrative of an innovative approach to ADHD, one that has helped her achieve affect control without the use of medication. Families will love this." -Frederick Lowy, MD, FRCPC, OC; Chair Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
"What a helpful, life-affirming booklet that educates in an easy to follow creative format about ADHD, and gives valuable advice on not only coping, but also thriving." -Frank Sommers, MD, FRCPC; Honourary and Founding President, Physicians for Social Responsibility; 1985 Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
"As a cartoonist working to enlighten the public about ADHD it is great to see younger folks like Evi putting pen to paper to share their experiences as well. It is a great comfort to know there are more out there like us and I applaud her for the work she is doing." -Tyler Page, Xeric award-winning author of Raised on Ritalin
"Constructing meaningful healthcare stories has become an increasingly prominent tool in discussions with families in the history of psychiatry. As a graphic novel, The Hallway Closet presents a unique and powerful new way to advance narrative as an initial healthcare choice for those with ADHD." -Prof. Dr. Edward Shorter, PhD FRSC; Jason A. Hannah Professor of the History of Medicine; Professor of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
"Evi Tampold's understanding of graphic storytelling is beyond her years. Her senses of narrative, pace, and composition are first-rate. Also, she already knows the most important storytelling skill of all: honesty, told in a unique voice:' -Brian Fies, author/illustrator, Mom's Cancer
About the Author:
Evi Tampold is an exceptional young woman. She is a student, an artist and a storyteller. She also has ADHD. The Hallway Closet is the compelling and charming story of how Evi and her mother, Carol Nash, PhD, refused to be limited by the condition. With patience, love, determination, and creativity they together fought for Evi to gain control over her ADHD when she was a young girl. Ten years later Evi was able to work consistently each day for three months to create this book. Today she creates in various media and her work is displayed in a number of locations in Southern Ontario. This is her first solo graphic novel and it’s an inspiration for every family and individual dealing with ADHD.