"My family has so much pride and for me this meant that being poor always filled me with a deep sense of shame. We never talked about it, but I always knew that I was different. Most kids didn’t have to take the day off school because their mother had nothing to give them for lunch that day and didn’t want the school nosing around.
This shame has followed me all my life and I’ve always been afraid of not being able to make money. Discovering I was unwell was a big blow because I realized I couldn’t rely on hard work to build financial security, particularly in an increasingly casualized workforce.
While it isn’t openly discussed, I feel there is still a resentment in general society for poor people. As if those who aren’t financially stable are there because they are lazy and stupid. This is the deep anxiety I’m expressing in this comic, no matter what happens in my life I can’t shake the shame of being financially insecure."
Clea Chiller is an artist and illustrator who works out of Squishface Comic Studio in Brunswick. Her deeply personal works focus on her battles with mental and physical illness. She has exhibited work at Platform Contemporary Arts Spaces, Seventh Gallery and Bruce Artist Run. She is the creator of Garbage Bags, a series of darkly humorous autobiographical zines, and has had comics published by The Lifted Brow and Doll Hospital Journal.