From bullying victim to story-teller. Announcing a debut LGBT graphic novel.
Two deeply closted gay men struggle to accept themselves. In a parallel dimension the Clost Monsters bring hope. 200 pages, full colour.
Justin Case and the Closet Monster is a debut graphic about two closeted gay men, Justin and Peter, who struggle to come to terms with who they are. Each man, coming from a different background, has closed the door on the possibility that he might be gay and made a pact with himself to never open it. Luckily for these men, members of The Closet Monster’s Guild – a legion of magical creatures that reside in a parallel dimension and are assigned to every gay and lesbian person at birth – are about to come along and open that door from the other side.
When I was a teenager in the 1980s, I was bullied relentlessly by my peers because they believed that I was gay. For years I lived my life in denial, trying everything that I could not to be the thing that my bullies hated so much. As a result I was homophobic and scared and for the longest time felt like I had no voice.
In December 2006, I lost my father to Alzheimer’s disease before I was ready to tell him that I was gay and had found the love of my life. He never got to know the real me. Life in the closet is a very lonely and painful place to be. I have found my voice. I am a proud gay man. I have a lot to say. I wrote and illustrated a graphic novel called Justin Case and The Closet Monster as a way to tell my dad all of the things that I lacked the courage to share with him when he was alive.
I believe that I have created a serious work that turns the monster-in-the-closet trope into a hilarious device for explaining the many ways in which people navigate the tension between private and public sexuality, external judgment and self-acceptance.
There are far too few stories out there for gay people, their family and allies. I created the Closet Monster for those that are alone and struggling. More than anything, my book is about hope.
It is for those people struggling in the closet, and their families, that I wrote Justin Case and the Closet Monster. I know from my own personal experience that hearing gay stories can be comforting and, at times, transformative. It is because of this that I have decided to share my own story.
Justin Case and the Closet Monster is currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter.