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Comics creators from around the world submit their unpublished projects to be previewed online by editors and agents.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.
Maple Starts Fresh
It seems like everything at school is designed to embarrass Maple Lecato. Classmates, bathrooms, locker rooms, and even roll call are all hazards. Maple came out as nonbinary over the summer and, using their freshman year of high school as a new start, is out and open. Being trans in a small town is hard, and Maple thinks things couldn’t possibly get any worse, except for their school’s homecoming tradition. To show “school spirit,” boys and girls are supposed to wear different colors and sit in separate areas of the gym during a pep rally. Maple and their friends must disrupt the event or be forced into the gender binary!
Age Range:Young Adult
Genre:Animals, Fiction, LGBTQ+, Own Voices, Realistic Fiction/Slice of Life, Social Issues
Page Count Estimate:200
Much of young adult LGBT fiction starts in the closet and ends with a coming out. I wanted Maple’s story to not even begin with the coming out. That part already happened, and what happens next is where it gets interesting. I was also in high school when I came out as transgender, and soon after, so did celebrity athlete Caitlyn Jenner. An anti-trans backlash in politics and culture followed, including the passing of bathroom bills that ban transgender individuals from using the restroom of their choice. Maple Starts Fresh borrows heavily from that time in my life. I hope to tell an honest story about the challenges and joys of being a young transgender person, enjoyable for readers of all kinds.
Izzy Boyce-Blanchard grew up in a small town on the Jersey Shore, drawing comics about cats. He went to school for art in New York and now lives in Brooklyn, and is still drawing comics about cats. Izzy illustrates for Nickelodeon’s Loud House and Casagrandes graphic novels and sometimes works as a kids’ art instructor.