'It's for everyone. Candid, authentic and utterly charming' Sarah Waters, author of Tipping the Velvet
'Funny and super relatable' Alice Oseman, author of Heartstopper
A tender and funny graphic memoir about identity, love and Willow from Buffy
Ellie always knew she was different. Contrary and creative, she wore black, obsessed over Willow in Buffy and somehow never really liked boys. As she grew, so did her fears and a deep sense of unbelonging. From her first communion to her first girlfriend via a swathe of self-denial, awkward encounters and everyday courage, Ellie's journey is told through tender and funny illustrations - a self-portrait sketched out from the heart.
The Times I Knew I Was Gay reminds us that sexuality is not often determined by falling in love with others, but by coming to terms with oneself; that people must come out not just once but again and again. Full of vitality and love, it will ring true for anyone who took time to discover who they truly are.
Identity isn't defined by a single moment, as British cartoonist Crewes finds in her chummy comics memoir. As a kid, she loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer especially the redheaded witch, Willow, who comes out as gay in the fourth season. Yet it took Crewes until late in her university years to connect her childhood fascination and her lukewarm feelings for boys to her own sexuality. ("It was as though someone had handed me a letter that I had to keep very safe, but wasn't allowed to open until the time was right.") Crewes's zine-style narration covers her failed attempts at hetero crushes and Tinder, and when she finally admits the truth of her same-sex attractions to herself, it's like she has to completely restart the dating game. Crewes draws in graphite pencils, lending her story a charming sketchbook quality. Human figures are soft and noodle-armed, recalling both Noelle Stevenson's Nimona and Tumblr diary comics. Crewes's gentle identity reveal is met with support and love from family members and friends; if the narrative lacks drama, it evokes the wish that every queer young person could find such ready acceptance. This sweet coming-out tale could help any reader unsure of how to read their own buried clues. Agent: Anna Power, Johnson & Alcock.