By Keezy Young (The Lion Forge/Oni Press)
ISBN: 978-1-941302-46-0 (Lion Forge PB/Digital edition) â€Ž978-1-63715-073-3 (Oni Press PB/Digital edition)
Iâ€™m ending our meagre contributions to this yearâ€™s Pride Month with a heads up/timely reminder for a superb, upbeat love story in the sincere hope that one day we wonâ€™t need a specially appointed time and space for queer people, or women, or black and asian ones or in fact any person not white and â€œnaturallyâ€ hetero-male.
Itâ€™s all just stories, folks. Why canâ€™t we just share them out fairly?
Back in 2017, queer, non-binary artist, author and storyteller Keezy Young (Never Heroes, Hello Sunshine) created a supernatural romance that garnered lots of critical attention, accolades and awards. Young resides in Seattle and has used art to tell tales since able to hold a crayon in a fist, so itâ€™s no surprise how good they are at it now. They specialise in creating YA comics and stories about being young, adventurous and LGBTQIA.
Rendered in bright pastel colours and big, welcoming images, Taproot is the story of Hamal; a gentle young man who loves plants and growing things. He always has time to chat and offer advice on plant care, even though his boss at the flower store is a bit of a tartar about unnecessary customer service.
Mr Takashi would be even more surly if he realised that many of the people Hamal talks to are dead. Unable to understand or explain his gift, Hamal is not afraid: gathering a small band of ghostly regulars who spend much of their time with him. Thereâ€™s moody teen April, effervescent grade schooler Joey and Blue. a good looking older teen who spends too much time trying to fix up Hamalâ€™s love-life. If Blue knows who Hamal really pines for, heâ€™s good at covering it upâ€¦
Theyâ€™ve been close for a year now. The aimless revenant just followed Hamal one day and was astounded when the living doll stared into his invisible face and asked him why. No longer isolated and cut off from existence, Blue stuck around and other wandering spirits gradually tagged along.
Itâ€™s not all sunshine and roses though. Recently, something dark and strange has begun slowly unfolding. The plants arenâ€™t thriving, and increasingly the spooks are being sucked into a ghastly spectral forest realm of doom and decay. It would be really frightening if they werenâ€™t already deadâ€¦
It all comes to a head after Blue is drawn to the forest and confronts a monster who knows whatâ€™s really going on in creation. Terrifying and predatory, it recognises what Hamal really is and has plans for both the living and the dead. Worst of all, it has a way to fulfil Blueâ€™s most heartfelt desireâ€¦ if the ghost boy will play alongâ€¦
Thankfully, thatâ€™s just the beginning of a whole new life for the would-be lovers and a novel existence for Hamal, as the story takes on fresh life via some captivating plot twists that every romantic who loves happy endings can see just by tapping thisâ€¦
Â© 2017 Keezy Young. All Rights Reserved. English text Â© 2007 NetComics.