Comic Crush Saturday: Pride Edition
Welcome to Comic Crush Saturday, our bi-weekly feature focused on the graphic elements of the book world. Comics became a huge part of my life a few years ago when I started reviewing them (and comic related TV shows) on Forever Young Adult. I’ve maintained a pull list through my local comic shop, Isotope Comics, and even got Kelly to start one ;). You’ll find mini-reviews, what we’ve read recently, and more so check it out!
This week’s Comic Crush is a special Pride edition featuring an author interview, recs, and more!
Interview with Damian Alexander
Other Boys is a fantastic memoir that is insight not only into Damian’s life but the life of a middle schooler. Bright colors pop off the page and the expressions tell the story as much as the words do. This GN is not to be missed! In honor of Other Boys and Pride Month, we chatted with Damian to get some insight into the process of Other Boys!
I’ve seen reviews from fellow authors and even teachers from your past. What’s been your favorite response to Other Boys?
There’s so many that I’ve enjoyed reading, but some of my particular favorites are from school visits I’ve done with Lambda’s LGBTQ Authors in Schools program. I don’t have any direct quotes but seeing kids and teachers who just read it tell me how it affected them has been so nice to hear. Being an author is sometimes very isolating and seeing responses from real people to it is almost surreal.
You’ve given us a few behind-the-scenes or book-to-reality looks. Are there any others you can share?
I was actually just thinking about how the art for the initial pitch for Other Boys was… not great. I had only just started drawing digitally when the book was first pitched, and I didn’t have a lot of experience with it. Early on I had the idea that the younger flashbacks in the story were going to look like they had been colored in with crayon, as if the 7th grade version of me was drawing them and retelling these stories to the reader. I did keep the bright colors to give it a youthful Saturday Morning Cartoon nostalgic feel though.
You’re currently writing a WebToon. How is that experience different than writing Other Boys?
With creating my webcomic Totally Crushed, I really like the instant serotonin I get each time I can share a page, rather than having to wait until the whole book is finished before I can share. Other Boys took almost 3 years to complete and had to be relatively secret until it was published, which is very difficult. The minute I finish drawing a page I always want to show it to everyone haha. Also Totally Crushed centers on fictional college-aged characters, so I feel like I can do a lot more with them, and just play around with it.
Other Boysby Damian Alexander
Published by: First Second
on September 28, 2021
Genres: Graphic Novel, LGBTQIA+, Middle Grade, Non-Fiction, Young Adult
In Other Boys, debut author Damian Alexander delivers a moving middle grade graphic memoir about his struggles with bullying, the death of his mother, and coming out.
Damian is the new kid at school, and he has a foolproof plan to avoid the bullying that's plagued him his whole childhood: he's going to stop talking. Starting on the first day seventh grade, he won't utter a word. If he keeps his mouth shut, the bullies will have nothing to tease him about—right?
But Damian's vow of silence doesn't work—his classmates can tell there's something different about him. His family doesn't look like the kind on TV: his mother is dead, his father is gone, and he's being raised by his grandparents in a low-income household. And Damian does things that boys don't usually do, like play with Barbies instead of GI Joe. Kids have teased him about this his whole life, especially other boys. But if boys can be so cruel, why does Damian have a crush on one?
Graphic Novel Recs for Pride
Clearly everyone is reading Heartstopper following the TV show (not only did the volumes sell out, but they all made the NYT Bestseller list!) and we are here today with some additional graphic novels to pick up!
- Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez, with art by Danica Brine
- The Tea Dragon Society: Volume 1 by K. O’Neill
- The Pride Omnibus by Joe Glass
- Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger, with art by Sara Kipin
See the full list at our Bookshop!