Tillie Walden has made some of the most profound and powerful comics of this century, from her lengthy queer science fiction novel On a Sunbeam to the intimate autobiography of Spinning.
In that same period, comics and graphic novels about queer people, particularly YA titles, have become increasingly popular and popular. In 2021, book shops sold 30,698,081 comics, more than the period between 2019 and 2020. These are among the most commonly used comic books, which includes: This One Summer, Gender Queer, The Witch Boy, and They Called Us Enemy.
The massive Kickstarter success of Ngozi UkazusCheck, Please! the second volume of which became an NYT bestseller paved the way for even more queer stories, including the massive print success of Webtoons like Lore Olympus (featuring many queer characters) and Heartstopper (gay romance), NYT bestsellers both. Beyond literary publishers and webcomics, DC Comics has created a slew of DC original graphic novels that have examined, celebrated, and highlighted queer
Walden and her catalog have played a significant role in this landscape. With the upcoming release ofClementine: Book One, Walden is stepping into a new world: long-form licensed comics. She discusses her success in the comics industry, and how she has changed her mind.
While traveling with her dad, Walden expressed gratitude for her ability to use the medium. Although, if it weren''t for two of her most powerful figures, we might have received Walden or her comics. When I saw Buddha, I discovered several simple lines, the exquisite story, and these beautifully rendered backgrounds. There were also some cute ladies, kids, and adults, and trauma and religion it just tapped into something deep inside of me.
While many of us love manga, dragon Ball Zand YuYu Hakusho was a popular anime. Interestingly, I never read a lot of shoujo before, because shonen really worked for me and I was a tomboy. But I also think I would have loved shoujo if I had discovered it sooner. She does however, caution that readers should not expect much of it to influence Clementine.
Scott McCloud was the second major contributor to bringing Walden to comics when she was 16, and he made a fine art-fatigued Walden decide comics was the right fit for her. She said, although she was earnest, she cared, and she was young. And he always put her belief in your students regardless of where she is now. It was a life-changing experience. I went home and started making comics and never ended.
Walden has released six graphic novels and a kids picture book for the first time, as well as being nominated for many more and for good reason. Is it just that way that her characters are given space to grow, breathe, and live. It''s strange that deer people may be permitted to take your time and take your space without saying why you are entitled to it, or making it dramatic or sad. I''m not always fond of reading books at that pace.
Walden''s deep explorations of love, the cosmos, or coming-of-age can be profoundly cool thanks to her bold illustration abilities and unique choices. However, shes quick to say that this notion isn''t going to change. Despite the fact that taking on the queer video game character felt it was quite natural for Walden.
Clementine was introduced in Season 1 of Telltales The Walking Dead: Season 1. She was only eight years old when the zombie epidemic began, and her dark past has led her to be successful killer and badass survivor. Clementine was recognized as queer when players were able to choose whether or not she might have a relationship with a boy or girl. It was a process that afflicted a lot to many enthusiasts.
Clementines had a sense of calm at home, but another aspect of the character provided more of a challenge in research and listening. Ive talked to a lot of people to learn about life as a unilateral below-the-knee amputee, she explained. It''s really a different experience for her and how she travels throughout the world.
For Walden, Clemetines queerness was both natural and exciting potential. Its been very rewarding to think about what it is to be this queer person in a world that is so fresh and so reborn and so messed up in so many ways, but also filled with many opportunities.
That notion of a broken world that might become a better is crucial to the appeal of zombie storytelling and dystopian fiction in general. I believe I am here at the end of the world and I get to remake the world in my own image now, which is really, really special, according to Walden. Its an ideal that also resonates in the context of The Walking Dead''s unexpected accessibility. There have been some papers discussing how the Walking Dead universe might sort of remake itself so that the sheer amount of disability would arise due to the
One of the reasons behind Walden''s take has been that it allowed Clementine to be outside of the badass characteristics she used to. I had no idea how aggressive Clementine was in the games, and why she decided to be a successful character. Now, her next badass step is to be or let it mess her up, because that''s what it does. And then learn to heal from that.
The elaborate black-and-white graphic novel does exactly that. In that way, it feels incredibly similar to what made The Walking Dead so popular. However, every key character in the series has to strive to preserve her humanity among the conditions of death and decay. Its such a natural progression, I believe, for a young adult to start experiencing your mortality and your past, especially when things slow down.
As queer stories become more prevalent and mainstream at every level of publishing, does Walden feel like it has changed? I feel like six years ago there was much more emphasis on coming out.
Another thing thats changed is who is getting to make those comics and getting paid to do so. I also believe that the queer graphic novels we were seeing were mostly white writers. I think thats changing now. Were getting queer stories from all queer people.
I feel like a swath of queer comics to continue to focus on pain. I believe that people will still want to write about their pain, and they should, nevertheless, I think there is still a desire for them to pursue it. That''s what I hope will lead to one of Walden''s most successful goals for the industry as it progresses. I hope that publishers will gradually realize that they must employ a color or queer person to only tell a story about their marginalization. They should
While these changes are steps in the right direction, Walden finds there are a way to go. She recalls times when she felt it was just going to tick a box. She does not think it will be perfect, but she has suggestions for how it might be improved. I think the next step is becoming more queer individuals and individuals of color who work in publishing, which is extremely predominantly straight and cisgender and white.
Still, though, she feels happy. I''ve seen so many improvements right now. I couldn''t be happier to be a cartoonist now. Ive never had anyone stop me from doing what I really wanted to do in my stories, but this is always the case, Weve come so far and so far to go.
Waldens, a queer author, speaks to the growing challenges in the comics industry, as well as the absence of distribution opportunities for indie comics. So now its all about how we get these comics in more peoples hands. However, there''s plenty of hope, as Walden reminds us that webcomics have been enormous for that!
The other thing on her mind is that survival is a condition that has plagued the comics industry since its founding. Despite the changing landscape, queer cartoonists like Walden, Wendy Xu, and Bianca Xunise can get six-figure deals, the deadlines put on them may be unrealistic. Finally, there''s the problem of healthcare and stability. There''s no law for my publishers to actually be my employer, according to Walden.
Ive met other cartoonists who have families and who make these next steps in life, and how this strain can really start to show. We make this money by writing these comics, and every time youre single and young and healthy, and doing well, and what is giving back to us? It''s something I really need to see, because my wife and I really want a family, but it''s like, how are we going to support them with this?
She said, "Getting your books out there when they sell," she said, is excellent. But it still feels like comics is a family with little of a safety net. A lot of people come into this career that had no access to it previously, but these big book deals are misleading, because they calm people down, making them think that was supported. In a variety of other ways, this is a very difficult task, with very little support.
How does she feel that now Clementine is almost out in the world? Walden said. Im keen for people and teens who don''t like zombies or just don''t know it to have a chance to interact with it and to develop confidence that this genre of post-apocalyptic stories is actually really fertile and interesting ground for them.
Book Oneis is now available at comic book stores and digital platforms, and it will be available everywhere else on June 28.