Graphic Novel Review 265/365: My Boyfriend is a Bear

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days! Or search #365GN on Twitter.

Hey, all! I have some cool things coming your way in April, so make sure that you are checking back every day. I appreciate you for reading.

My C2E2 weekend was an absolute blast, and I look forward to regaling you with stories through the week as I bring you titles that I picked up at the show.  And today, I’m pleased to bring you yet another hit from of my favorite publishers: Oni Press.

Title: My Boyfriend is a Bear 

Author(s): Pamela Ribon and Cat Farris

Publisher: Oni Press (2018)

Age Rating: 17+

Judging this book by it’s cover, I imagined My Boyfriend is a Bear to be a fun YA graphic novel about love and friendship.  I was right about the love and friendship part, but this is not a YA title.  This book is for 17+ readers.  The book not only contains a multitude of F-Bombs, but there are some fairly in-your-face sexual references.  And there is a nude butt; but that’s not a big deal…very cartoon-y.

That’s where this book is shocking: the art and coloring are vibrant, fun, playful, and cute.  Open up to most pages, look at the art alone, and this looks like a YA graphic novel, but read the content, take in the language and themes, and the reader quickly discovers that this book is for adults.  And it is a refreshing surprise.

This weekend while on panels, I’ve talked about YA and Middle Grade graphic novels being read by all-ages as a celebration of their relatability and nostalgia as we long for a past that quickly slips away, but this book brings us the same art as the YA or Middle Grade books with an adult focus.

So, our protagonist, Nora (early 20s?), has terrible luck with men, and while on a hike, she meets a bear…long story short, she finds the bear tearing through her garbage in her yard, invites him in for dinner, and they start dating.  Yes, it is an actual bear.  He does not speak; he grunts in a way that Nora can, for the most part, understand.  He’s big, clumsy, caring, sweet, and most of her friends and family have a hard time accepting her relationship with him.

You can find a number of themes, lessons, and morals in this story.  It’s interesting mentally as well as visually.  This is one of those beach-read type books that will get you off of your brain-shut-off vacation so you can make someone else read it and chat with them.  What is this book about?  You tell me.  I’d love to chat about it with you!  Oni Press continues to kill it, and I hope Pop Culture Classroom can develop a strong bond with them because what I’m seeing coming out from them is top notch!  Kudos to Oni and the creative team of Ribon and Farris for an exceptionally unique title.

Happy reading!

Eric

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