Heartstopper is a queer friends-to-lovers webcomic that has taken the internet by storm. With show-stopping representation and good handling of mature themes, it’s no wonder Netflix was interested in bringing the story to the small screen.
Created by Alice Oseman, Heartstopper tells the story of Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player. The pair meet at an all-boys secondary school, and a friendship quickly blossoms between them – and maybe something more.
The serialized webcomic began in September 2016 and has since been updated consistently three times a month. After five-and-a-half years and thousands of panels, fans are finally getting the adaptation of their dreams. Netflix’s Heartstopper will be eight chapters long and is rumored to follow the plot of Heartstopper: Volume One.
The best part? The cast actually looks like teenagers, because they are. Three cheers for age-appropriate casting!
What sets Heartstopper apart from other coming-of-age stories is the sheer amount of authentic representation. Charlie and Nick’s circle is as diverse as any real-life friend group, with bisexual, lesbian, POC and transgender characters. Although the series is generally very lighthearted, it doesn’t shy away from serious topics such as bullying, homophobia and mental illness; it acknowledges the struggles that many queer youths face each and every day simply for existing.
Heartstopper is heartwarming, true-to-life and exactly what young queer people need to see: a relatable journey of self-discovery and acceptance. It focuses on not only coming out but coming to terms with who you are.
If you’re a fan of Love, Simon, you need to catch up on Heartstopper. Heartstopper is available to read for free online on Tapas, Tumblr or Webtoon. And when you inevitably fall in love with Charlie and Nick’s story, you can purchase physical graphic novels from Oseman’s site.
Heartstopper premieres on Netflix on Friday, April 22, and I’ll be counting down the days until my favorite gays appear on-screen.