In this episode of The Randy Report podcast, I chat with award-winning author and artist Mike Curato, who recently released his debut YA graphic novel, FLAMER, a coming-of-age story that confronts ideas of homophobia, bullying, body image and coming to terms with identity in every sense of the word.
Curato’s YA graphic novel follows 14-year-old Aiden Navarro who navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can’t stop thinking about), as he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.
Unfolding over the course of the last week of Boy Scout camp in 1995, Aiden’s story is heavily inspired by Mike’s own experience as a Boy Scout (and eventual Eagle Scout) and his coming out as a teenager.
The Hollywood Reporter called FLAMER “the kind of book that might change its reader’s lives.”
I grew up as an avid fan of comic books, and I can see why graphic novels have become the grown-up version of that visual medium.
I really enjoyed not only Mike’s prose but his illustrations which are clever and powerfully evocative in their own right as a part of the storytelling. If you haven’t checked out graphic novels lately – this is the one!