I've been planning this and working on it for months. I've wanted to do it for much longer than that. Probably years.
Well, I'm FINALLY allowed to share it with you.
I have decided to start a webcomic!
What is the webcomic going to be about?
Well. Let's get right down to it.
Alice wtf is a webcomic?
A webcomic is a online serialised comic/graphic novel that you can read for free. Creators release pages or chapters gradually over time, often to a schedule (for example, one page per week or one chapter per month, etc). Some of my favourites include Hotblood!, Les Normaux, and SIGNS.
Alice wtf why are you making one?
Many of you probably know that I love drawing my characters. In fact, my characters are probably the only things that I actually draw. I post a lot of my drawings on my art blog, spacezeros, and sometimes I post them on Twitter, too. I've also been an avid follower of a range of webcomics for many years and have always wanted to start one (because, obviously, I like writing stories too).
Alice wtf is it going to be about?
Here's where we get to the good stuff.
The webcomic is going to be called Heartstopper, and it is going to tell Nick and Charlie's backstory.
If you've read Solitaire and my novellas Nick and Charlie and This Winter, you'll know quite a bit about Nick and Charlie. Nick Nelson and Charlie Spring are teenage boys and they are in a relationship. In This Winter and Solitaire, Nick is seventeen and Charlie is fifteen, and they have been together for eight months. Charlie suffers from anorexia and depression, and has just returned home from a hospital stay after attempting suicide three months previously. In Nick and Charlie, we meet them again around eighteen months later, Nick now eighteen and Charlie seventeen, and they're still together.
I have always harboured ambitions of telling their backstory (i.e. the events of them meeting, becoming friends and then boyfriends, and Charlie's slide into severe mental illness). I've tried to plan it as a novel several times, but have never been able to come up with anything I'm happy with. What I realised, after doing this, is that it just won't work as a novel. It doesn't have a good plot arc for a novel. There's no gradual rise and fall. Nick and Charlie's story isn't like that.
Nick and Charlie's story is made up of fragments. Episodes. There are episodes of their lives; small stories that make up something larger. The story of them meeting. The story of them becoming friends. The story of them falling in love, becoming boyfriends, finding their way through a new relationship, fighting back against mental illness. It doesn't work as a novel because there's no overarching drama - because it's just real life. Just one normal, loving relationship between two people.
ALICE WTF CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE NEXT?
Heartstopper will be launching on the 1st September 2016 on Tumblr and Tapastic - you can follow both or one of these, whatever suits you best. To reiterate - it will be 100% free to read. I will be posting an update twice a month - one on the 1st, and one on the 15th.
If you would like to actually support me financially with this venture (which would be awesome but is by no means required), I am going to launch a Patreon, in which you can pay as little as $1 per month to see exclusive art content from me - doodles, sketches, early updates, bonus comics, etc. I haven't launched this yet, and definitely won't until at least the first update - but stay tuned!
This comic will run for at least over a year. Probably more like two. I already have the whole thing planned. I've just gotta draw it all now!
WOWEE ALICE THIS SOUNDS GR8
THANKS! Thanks so much for reading all this, if you made it to the end! I'm ridiculously excited about this comic. I actually wrote most of this post back in March because I was so excited. I've wanted to do this for such a long time.
I'm not a brilliant artist, but I am passionate about drawing and this story. I love Nick and Charlie and their relationship, and I can't really let them go until I've told their story.