Graphic Novel Review: the fire never goes out: a memoir in pictures by noelle stevenson

the fire never goes out: a memoir in pictures by noelle stevenson. Harper, 2020. 9780062278272. 194pp.

Stevenson is the writer/illustrator of Nimona, wrote Lumberjanes, and went on to be show runner and executive producer of Netfix’s She-Ra relaunch. This is her biography of sorts covering the years 2011 (when she was 19) through 2020, a period during which she took her first comics class, became a creative superstar on the internet for her fan art (and in the real world for her art art), and fell in love. Her life is a triumph in large part because of how she dealt with her anxiety and figured out her sexual orientation. Her book is a triumph because it doesn’t fixate on every moment and minute detail, and she represents her life in moments and yearly summaries using comics and drawings and a lot of words, too. Amazing book. Best biography I’ve read in a while.

My favorite moment: the hug she gets at her first pride parade. The thing I didn’t know about: her geeky fan art! It’s fabulous and fun. I love the energy the comics and drawings in the book have — they flow from panel to panel to panel-less to whatever Stevenson needs to create to express herself. Long-time sticky note users like me will find a lot to cheer about in here, too.


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