My Boyfriend Is a Bear original graphic novel
Writer: Pamela Ribon
Artist/Colors/Cover artist: Cat Farris
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Editors: Ari Yarwood & Charlie Chu
Publisher: Oni Press
Price: $19.99 US/$24.99 CAN
Some of the best comics I’ve been reading lately– be it Tom King’s Batman or Tee Franklin’s Bingo Love — have been romance comics. So perhaps it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise to me how compelling, thought-provoking and amusing My Boyfriend Is a Bear proved to be to me. It’s one of those rare projects that poses a challenge for critics such as myself in that it defies description. The publisher has labeled it as a romantic comedy, and while it certainly is funny at times, I think that label falls well short of conveying the unusual and intelligent qualities of this book. It’s really more of a romantic fable. Writer Pamela Ribon eschews cliched notions of couplehood and explores things from an extraordinary and truly different angle. She delves into comfort and kindness, into oddities and acceptance. I’ll be honest — I can’t say I fully understand the central message of this graphic novel. Maybe it’s not meant to be that clearly defined or understood. It’s undeniably entertaining and prompts its audience consider relationships, happiness and the potential that we settle to achieve social structures of the norm.