Heartstopper is a graphic novel, written by Alice Oseman, that tells the story of two boys falling in love. The characters come from the author’s debut novel ‘Solitaire’. This previously online comic series serves as a way for the author to tell the backstory of the once minor characters. The story originated on tumblr and after the artist had a large amount of the story drawn out they were able to get it self-published right before it was picked up by a publisher. The story originated in Kent, UK but is now available in most places and on a website called Tapas.
This graphic novel is shaped largely around LGBTQ+ topics and currently consists of three book volumes, or 153 episodes (if you read it online). The author has published endless content around the story including Q and A’s, short stories, and even fan-fic like crossovers (including Harry Potter and Detroit Become Human).
The story is centered around a boy in high school who was bullied a lot after accidentally being ‘outed’ to the school. He starts the story in a secret ‘relationship’ with a boy who is in the closet and openly dating a girl. The boy he is talking to treats him terribly so once Charlie meets Nick he decides he deserves better and cuts things off. Charlie and Nick met one day in class when they were assigned seats next to each other. Nick is a slightly older student and plays on the rugby team.They slowly become good friends and soon after they become best friends… until of course they catch feelings.
The art in this graphic novel is absolutely amazing. I find the simplistic nature beautiful and the artist’s unique ‘soft’ style really makes this story visually irresistible. The US edition comes in blue-green shades, but the artist’s work originated in gray-scale using only four tones. This story is full of variety including lots of LGBTQ+ representation and different experiences all of these characters have. There is love, support, hardships, communication and much more. We get the good sides of love and the harder sides: simpler experiences with coming out and harder ones. This story is one that a large and diverse audience is likely to find some aspect of relatable, this is why I find it the perfect story for anyone looking for a feelgood love tale.
Until next time,
Let’s Stay Psyched about Reading,