In Tillie Waldens Clementine, the Walking Dead and the queer coming-of-age collide

In Tillie Waldens Clementine, the Walking Dead and the queer coming-of-age collide ...

Tillie Walden has spawned several of the most significant and powerful comics of this century, from her sprawling queer science fiction novel On a Sunbeam to her intimate autobiography of Spinning.

In the same period, comics and graphic novels about queer people and especially YA titles have become increasingly popular and popular. In 2021, book shops sold 30,698,081 comics, more than between each year and 2020. That means that more people than ever are purchasing and reading comics. Queer graphic novel bestsellers like This One Summer, Gender Queer, The Witch Boy, and They Called Us Enemy have begun to appear on the bestseller list with greater regularity.

Webcomics have long been a home for queer stories, but 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 multiple queer characters) and Heartstopper (gay romance), and the NYT bestsellers both. Difficult fiction and webcomics have dubbed queer heroes,

For the first time, Walden reveals how she has evolved from Telltales Walking Dead to the comics industry.

She spoke with Walden about Zoom, which she believes is as strong as her ability. Although, if it wasn''t for two of the world''s most influential figures, we may have never seen Walden or her comics. When I saw Buddha, I realized how remarkable it was, and there were also some cute ladies, kids, and adults. trauma and religion it just tapped into something deep inside of me.

As a child at the Center for Cartoon Studies, Walden learned from shonen''s skills and taught me how to use it sooner. However, she cautions that readers should not expect too much of shoujo''s influence.

Scott McCloud, who worked with Walden when she was 16, had a great deal of fun figuring out how to get him to comics. She said she appreciates him. But she found out that he was an excellent teacher and you always put your trust in your students. It was a painful journey. I went home and started producing comics, but never ended.

Walden has released six graphic novels and a kids picture book for the first time in seven years, as well as being nominated for several awards and for good reason. Its funny, however, that she is comfortable in writing and writing, as well as being free to breathe, and live. Walden believes that without taking time and taking your space, you must take advantage of it, whether it be dramatic or sad. I always love reading books at that pace.

Walden''s extensive explorations of love, the cosmos, and coming-of-age can be profoundly soft, but she is quick to contradict that notion: Im not cool! With the upcoming release of Clementine: Book One, that may all be changing. Yet, taking on the high-profile queer video game character felt it was not a gear shift for Walden. For me, it felt quite natural.

Clementine was first introduced in Season 1 of Telltales The Walking Dead: Season 1. She was only 8 years old when the zombie epidemic started, and she has a young mother who has experienced the dangers of being a killer and badass survivor. Clementine was also confirmed as queer when players learned to choose whether or not she could have a relationship with a boy or girl. It was a journey that meant a lot to many fans.

Walden felt like he was going to the page and was putting Clementines querness on the line, but another part of the character offered more of a challenge in research and listening. Ive talked to a lot of people to learn about life as a unique below-the-knee amputee, because it really is a different experience for her and how she goes through the world.

For Walden, Clemetines queerness was both natural and full of exciting potential. I''ve learned from my own trauma that helped guide it, and that''s been fascinating. It''s also been very rewarding to think about how it feels to be this queer person in a world that is so new and so reborn and so messed up in so many ways, but also a lot of possibilities.

The concept of a broken world that might be a better one is critical to the appeal of zombie storytelling and dystopian fiction in general. I am here at the end of the world and I get to remake the world in my own image now, which I, according to Walden, is truly, really special. It is a fantastic point and an idea that Walden is eager to continue exploring in Clementine: Book One and beyond.

One of the arguments in Walden''s view has been that it was possible for Clementine to exist outside of the badass rules that have inspired her. I realized how difficult Clementine was in the games and how that made her such an inspiring and relatable character. Now, her next badass step is to deal or let it mess her up, because that''s what it does. And then learn to recover from that.

The intricate black-and-white graphic novel does exactly that. In this way, it feels absolutely similar to what made The Walking Dead so popular. I still get to see Clementine killing Walkers in an effective and brutal manner, but she also like every key character in the series has to endure extreme hardship to keep her human condition in place. It''s such a natural journey, I believe, for a child of the apocalypse to eventually begin to experience 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, according to Walden. It''s been quite a surprise that six years ago there was more to come out.

Another thing thats changed is who gets to make comics and pay to do so. I also believe that the queer graphic novels we were seeing were predominantly white authors. I think thats changing right now. Were getting queer stories from all queer people.

I feel like a lot of queer comics will still want to focus on their pain. I''m starting to see a trend of queer people embarking on an adventure without knowing their queerness. That is, for the sake of Walden, which is vital to the development of the company. I hope that publishers will soon realize that they should only hire a person of color or queer person to tell a story about their marginalization. They should just hire them and let them do whatever they want.

While these changes are a step in the right direction, Walden feels there are a way to go. She recalls instances where she thought it would never be successful, but she does have ideas for how it may be improved. I think the next step is becoming more queer people and individuals of color who work in publishing, which is extremely predominantly straight and cisgender and white.

Still, however, she feels optimistic. Ive seen so many improvements right now. I couldn''t be happier to be a cartoonist right now. Ive never had anyone stop me from doing what I really wanted to do in my stories, but it''s always this push and pull of, We have come so far and we have so far to go.

Waldens believes for the future of the comics industry speak to the wider questions in the industry, like a lack of distribution options for animated movies. So now its all about how we get these comics in more peoples hands. However, there is still hope, as Walden reminds us that webcomics have been enormous for that!

The other thing on her is survival, and the whole story has affected comics industry since its inception. Despite the fact that queer cartoonists like Walden, Wendy Xu, and Bianca Xunise have gotten six-figure agreements, the time limits put on them can be unrealistic. Finally, there is the issue of healthcare and stability. There is no system for my publishers to actually be my employer, according to Walden. That includes no health care, no benefits, no paid holiday leave or support

I have discussed with other cartoonists who have children and who take these next steps in life, and how it can really start to show. We make this money doing these comics, and it is one thing when youre single and young and healthy, and doing okay, but its like, What is comics giving back to us? It''s something I really want to have a family, but it''s like, How are we going to assist them with this?

She continued, and she believes that selling your books is absolutely phenomenal. However, it still feels like comics is a career without much of a safety net. So as more individuals come into this career that didnt have access to it before, I sometimes feel a little bit like these big book deals are misleading, because they calm people down, making them feel that they were supported. In a variety of ways, this is a very difficult task with very little support.

So with all of industry talk done, how does she feel that now Clementine is almost out in the world? Walden said. Im also interested for people and teens who don''t like zombies or don''t really know or like The Walking Dead to have a chance to engage with it and to experience that this type of post-apocalyptic stories is actually really beneficial to them.

Book Oneis is now available at comic book shops and digital platforms, and it will be available everywhere else on June 28.