News / Calgary

Hull Services takes unique approach with graphic novel style annual report

An ACAD school of communication design student, Samantha Rogan, created Callie's Story to help tell others what the kids at Hull Services might have experienced

Local artist, Samanta Rogan, was commissioned by Hull Services to help them tell their story in a unique and relatable way. The result is the graphic novel called 'This is Callie's story.'

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Local artist, Samanta Rogan, was commissioned by Hull Services to help them tell their story in a unique and relatable way. The result is the graphic novel called 'This is Callie's story.'

Every year Hull Services delivers their annual report, and this year they said out with the old and in with the new, commissioning a local artist to present their report in a graphic novel. 

Hull Services offers integrated prevention, intervention and treatment programs providing behavioural and mental health treatment and support to thousands of Calgary youth and families each year. 

This year they wanted weave what they say is an all-too-common narrative for children in our city in a way that was not only different but also engaging and hopefully relatable for their youth clientele. 

“We thought, ‘Let’s impact people,’” said Hull Services executive director George Ghitan . “People don’t really understand the emotional story of these kids, and we thought this was a good way to show them a piece of that.”

Hull approached local artist and Alberta College of Art and Design student Samantha Rogan, who said she took the job of telling Hull’s story very seriously. 

Samantha Rogan holds up the finished product of Callie's Story.

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Samantha Rogan holds up the finished product of Callie's Story.

“I know about their reputation in the community and how much they do for the people who they work with,” she said. “I think communicating that relatability, for what those kids might be going through, in the comic was my main priority.” 

The graphic novel tells the story of a 15-year-old girl named Callie who experienced serious emotional trauma due to the premature death of her father, is planning to commit suicide and is keeping the secret of her sexual assault from her mother. 

Ghitan said the feedback he’s received from those who have read the report was positive. 

“A lot of people have told me they really enjoyed this, they read the whole thing and they got an interesting understanding of what these children go through and their reactions to what happened to them,” he said. 

Rogan said she wanted the comic’s main character to be someone relatable to the youth at Hull.

“We wanted her to look like a regular girl you see everyday , but also hint at the fact that there are other things going on with her below the surface,” she said. “I thought back to my high-school days of course and the people I knew then.”

Further to the graphic novel, Callie’s Story, Hull’s annual report also included their financial position, indicating their excess revenues over expenses were $467,352, putting them $189,656 above last year. 

Ghitan said although they have loyal donors throughout the community, and despite some government funding, money is always needed at Hull. 

“If you had one in five people suffering from a physical disease the way one in five people struggle with mental illness it would be considered an epidemic, and you would fund it that way,” he said. “We need to look at this in the same way. We’re in a crisis.”

Hull Annual Report 2016

More about Hull Services

1. Hull Services offers the following type of programs: Prevention and early intervention, family based services, school-based services, young adult services, residential treatment and community group care. 

2. Hull Services relies a lot of their hundreds of volunteers, specifically in their mentorship programs. To become a mentor click here. 

3. Donations made online go directly to the Hull Services program in most need, however you can decide if you wish to support a specific program or initiative. To donate visit their main page and click donate. 

More on Metronews.ca