By Lawrence Lindell. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.
Softcover, 216 pages, Colour, 2023
Black, weird, awkward and proud of it. Welcome to the club!
Tired of feeling like you don’t belong? Join the club. It’s called the Section. You’d think a spot to chill, chat, and find community would be much easier to come by for nerdy, queer punks. But when four longtime, bookish BFFs—Lika, Amor, Lala, and Tony—can’t find what they need, they take matters into their own hands and create a space where they can be a hundred percent who they are: Black, queer, and weird.
The group puts a call out for all awkward Black folks to come on down to the community center to connect. But low attendance and IRL run-ins with trolls of all kinds only rock everybody with anxiety. As our protagonists start to question the merits of their vision, a lifetime of insecurities—about not being good enough or Black enough—bubbles to the surface. Will they find a way to turn it around in time for their radical brainchild, the Blackward Zine Fest?
Lawrence Lindell’s characters pop from the page in playful Technicolor. From mental health to romance, micro—and macro—aggressions to joy, our crew tackles everything life throws at them in this heartwarming tale about building a place to belong and the power of community.
“Blackward is filled with vibrant art and bold friendships. Lindell has created a tender but hilarious love letter to community, belonging, and the beauty of finding your people.” —Liz Montague, New Yorker cartoonist and author of Maybe an Artist
“For the Freaks and Geeks! This book is filled to the brim with Black joy and strangeness. It’s hard not to fall in love with Lawrence’s characters, their effortless friendship and the hard work they put in to create community.”—Robyn Smith, co-creator of Wash Day Diaries
“Funny, truthful, sometimes uncomfortable—Lindell is a comics creator to watch!”—Gilbert Hernandez
“Thoughtful, charming, and funny. Lindell’s genuine love for zines and the community they have brought together is sure to inspire.”—Miranda Tacchia, author of Unimpressed
“This reads like a love letter to all the lovely weirdos looking for their people, and the islands of joy, pain, and zines that we build with each other. Blackward will find you right on time."—Ben Passmore, author of Your Black Friend and Other Strangers
"For many readers, this is the Blackest, queerest, and sweetest thing they’ll see since looking in the mirror. [It's] a paean to the radical joy of being every part of yourself."—Kirkus, Starred Review
"Lindell’s loose, expressionistic drawings burst with energy, humor, and bright colors. His fast-talking, fun-loving protagonists make for good company, and their guileless yearning for connection and community is appealing and poignant."—Publishers Weekly
"Lindell’s colorful panels imbue energy on every page while his empathically expressive characters and dynamic hand lettering—in spirited caps, with plenty of bold highlights, even old-school bubble letters—add multilayered vibrancy."—ALA Booklist