Kids Comics Pitchfest Showcase
Comics creators from around the world submit their unpublished projects to be previewed online by editors and agents. A panel of judges (click here to see the juror list) select the top pitches. Projects are archived here so that industry pros may view them and discover new talent.
Raina Telgemeier’s SMILE meets Judy Blume’s DEENIE in this semi-autobiographical graphic novel about an overachieving girl whose life is thrown off-center when she has to wear a scoliosis back brace.
When Ari discovers she has to wear a scoliosis back brace for nine months, her eighth-grade plans start to crack. Concentrating in school, kicking a soccer ball, and "fitting in" feel like a distant memory. After she meets Sky, her nonbinary soccer teammate struggling with identity pressures of their own, Ari starts to notice the ways she’s been trying to cram into the ideal student, athlete, and daughter mold...the same mold Sky's been trying to break out of. With a little help from Sky, Ari must learn how to embrace her true authentic self.
Age Range:Middle Grade
Genre:Disability Content, Humor, LGBTQ+, Memoir, Own Voices, Social Issues
Page Count Estimate:224-272
Scoliosis has had a huge impact on my family. Because of scoliosis, I can no longer run, my mother is on disability leave from her job, and my aunt has emotional scars from being bullied severely for wearing a back brace. Sometimes, I wonder if a book like this had existed when my family members were younger, could it have encouraged them to get a scoliosis exam sooner or even helped them when they were wearing a back brace?
I hope this book brings more awareness to scoliosis and the importance of getting tested for it early. I’ve never seen a character wear a scoliosis brace before so it was important to me to make this a graphic novel so others could visually see what a brace looks like and get insight into what it’s like to wear one.
Brigitta Blair (she/they) is an author-illustrator who studied interactive design at American University in Washington DC and Niigata College in Japan. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, Brigitta worked as a designer for Toyota, Ubisoft, and the Red Cross. She also created the official Scrivener Standard Comic Script template and has been featured in the Smithsonian and The Washington Post. Her experiences with chronic pain, being queer, and mental health inspire her books.