JUST ROLL WITH IT Explores Anxiety and OCD Through D&D - Nerdist
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JUST ROLL WITH IT Explores Anxiety and OCD Through D&D

Here at Nerdist we love tabletop gaming, comics, and inclusive storytelling. Which is why we’re incredibly excited to reveal the cover to Veronica Agarwal and Lee Durfey-Lavoie‘s gorgeous new middle-grade graphic novel Just Roll with It.

Just Roll with It graphic novel cover

Random House Graphic

The lovely comic follows Maggie. She’s an anxious middle schooler who has an unconventional way of getting through the day. The full description follows:

“When Maggie gets into middle school, she already knows she won’t make the same kind of splash her older siblings did. She isn’t as smart or outgoing as they are—but as long as she rolls the right numbers on her twenty-sided die, she can make it through.

Maggie knows relying on her dice to help her make decisions throughout the day isn’t the most normal thing for a kid. But if she makes her own choices, what if bad things happen? She just wants to make friends and be like everybody else—but for some reason, her mind works differently.

Lee Durfey-Lavoie and Veronica Agarwal bring to life this middle-grade graphic novel that explores the complexity of anxiety, OCD and learning to trust yourself and the world around you.”

Just Roll with It graphic novel preview

Random House Graphic

Just Roll with It’s creative team also shared some thoughts on the book with Nerdist.

The title is Agarwal’s second graphic novel and Durfey-Lavoie’s debut as a writer. And it represents something huge for both. “This is a culmination of something we’ve both wanted to do our whole lives,” Agarwal told us. “This story is also so close to my heart. Some of Maggie’s struggles are taken directly from my own experiences with anxiety and OCD. To be able to publish a story where Maggie learns to move forward during a similar time in my own personal healing is really wonderful.”

It’s a powerful sentiment shared by Durfey-Lavoie. “This story is a love letter to myself as a kid, stumbling along through school with depression and anxiety and unsure of everything. This story is my affirmation that everything is going to be okay, even if things get scary.”

Just Roll with It graphic novel preview

Random House Graphic

The team also want readers to find solace in the story. “I hope that this story will be eye opening for some and comforting for others,” Agarwal said. “For kids who struggle with anxiety already, I want them to feel seen. If this is the first time they’ve heard someone talk about anxiety, I want them to feel like it’s ok for them to talk about it with someone they trust. I want this book to give them the vocabulary to do that. For kids who don’t experience anxiety, I hope this can give them a look into what it might be like so they can empathize with their friends and peers who get anxious.”

Durfey-Lavoie agreed. “I hope they find comfort. That’s what I want, at its core, this book to be. I hope even just one person reading it finds that they’re not alone, that life isn’t totally overwhelming, and that things are going to work out.”

Just Roll with It graphic novel preview

Random House Graphic

And finally Agarwal wants readers to have fun when they pick up the title. “I’m also perfectly happy knowing that we created an enjoyable story with fun characters. If kids like reading Just Roll with It, that’s more than enough for me.”

Featured Image: Random House Graphic