From Noelle Stevenson, the New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of Nimona, comes a captivating, honest illustrated memoir that finds her turning an important corner in her creative journey—and inviting readers along for the ride.
In a collection of essays and personal mini-comics that span eight years of her young adult life, author-illustrator Noelle Stevenson charts the highs and lows of being a creative human in the world.
Whether it’s hearing the wrong name called at her art school graduation ceremony or becoming a National Book Award finalist for her debut graphic novel, Nimona, Noelle captures the little and big moments that make up a real life, with a wit, wisdom, and vulnerability that are all her own.
A scrapbook of diary entries, drawings, illustrated song lyrics, photos, and sticky notes honestly captures the uncertainty of youth in pseudo-real time. Between 2011 and 2019, comics artist Noelle Stevenson created year-in-review blog posts for her online followers, presented and expanded upon here. The years include early and astronomical artistic and professional successes, as she leverages a Tumblr following into a book deal (Nimona) and a Netflix show (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power), as well as mental health challenges that ebb, flow, and eventually culminate in an unnamed diagnosis. Depicting herself with a range of hairstyles and frequently with a hole in her center, she documents her spiritual struggles, burgeoning independence, and deep fears, often in the form of gentle letters to her younger self. By conveying key events primarily via generalized summaries about coming out as queer, workplace burnout, secret projects, troubled relationships, and mental crescendos Stevenson sometimes undermines her own raw emotion, which is on clearer display where she depicts, for example, discovering that her grandma accepts her sexuality or describes the titular fire as a thing that "lit you up or burned you apart." Stevenson's illustrations are sweet, simple, and confident. If the memoir feels a bit scattered at times, so does the experience of youth itself; Stevenson brings unique and endearing insight to the messy process of growing up. Ages 14 up. \n