When Alice Oseman started producing a webcomic about two teenage lads falling in love, she would have had no idea how important her work would be. Following her successful publication of ‘Solitaire’ – a book about an anxious Tori Spring – Alice decided to expand the focus onto her side characters. She gave Tori’s brother Charlie a storyline with his boyfriend Nick, which resulted in another novella and the Timblr ‘Heartstopper’ cartoons.
A Groundswell Of Love
Heartstopper was eventually rolled out as four books, initially, with two more editions to come. As a successful YA story about growing up and coming to terms with being gay and bi, it has been groundbreaking to witness its widespread success and acceptance.
In 2022 Hearstopper was made into an eight part TV show which was scripted by Alice and had 54 million views in its first month alone. For the LGBTQ+ community this has meant so much. When I was younger we had nothing like this on television. Now you can see two lads fall in love and witness other LGBTQ+ characters dealing with everyday dilemmas in a normal, comfortable way.
As the second season arrived on Netflix last night, I watched the first episode and could see that the high standard of production was continuing and meaningful stories were still being told.
This phenomenon is powerful because it sends out a clear message that you can live your life freely, as you choose. By showing such acceptance, dealing with the awkwardness of ‘coming out’ and other serious issues, such as mental health, Alice has worked wonders.
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