Fans of Alice Oseman’s webtoon turned graphic novel series Heartstopper can breathe a sigh of relief. The highly anticipated Netflix adaptation is as sweetly adorable and feel-good as its literary counterpart (probably because Alice Oseman, the creator of the graphic novel, wrote the TV series as well).
The only problem now is that the half-hour show is too bingeable and before you know it, you’ve finished the season in one stretch. It happens.
The only thing fans can do now is dive into the stacks of wonderful graphic novel counterparts, as delightful, charming, funny and sweet as Heartstopper. We’ve even compiled a list of recommendations for you, while you wait for news on season two!
Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau
Ari has bigger dreams than his family bakery. He wants to move to the city with his band instead of languishing over ovens and dough. He finds his replacement in Hector, a young guy who loves baking and who is sweet and hopeful to Ari’s indecisive and frenetic. They fall for each other over baking and a growing friendship and it’s as sweet as Heartstopper is charming.
Slip by Marika McCoola and Aatmaja Pandya
Though Slip won’t be released until June, Heartstopper fans should have this on their TBR. Jade’s summer at an art intensive camp is filled with possibilities but before she leaves, her best friend attempts suicide. How can Jade focus on her art and summer (and her crush on another camper, Mary) when her best friend is struggling at home? Emotional and nuanced, Marika McCoola captures the hope of new love, the heartbreak of loss and everything in between.
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker, illustrated by Wendy Xu
If you want characters to love as much as you love Charlie and Nick, you’ll adore Nova, Tam and Nova’s two grandmothers. The cozy, warm feelings of found family and magic provide for one of the best snuggly reading experiences that will be perfect after watching Heartstopper.
Check, Please! Vol. 1 by Ngozi Ukazu
Like Heartstopper, Check, Please! started as a viral online comic with a huge fandom that followed to the graphic novel release. In fact, Netflix needs to do the right thing and adapt this next! Come for the hockey and pies, stay for the sweet friendship between Bitty and Jack and the camaraderie between the team.
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
An early review I left for this book read, “LOVED the artwork.” On reviewing the book three years later, I have to agree. The artwork is lovely. If you (as a teenager or older reader) miss the nostalgia of teen angst and love when books like Heartbreaker get it right–you’re in for a treat with this one.
Fence Vol. 1 by C.S. Pacat, illustrated by Johanna The Mad
Fence follows an elite boarding school’s fencing team, where outsider Nicholas makes friends and enemies while trying to prove himself. Like Check, Please! the team dynamics (and drama) make for an exciting read. This very queer and fun graphic novel series is definitely worth a binge after Heartstopper.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
One of the most wholesome, creative graphic novels I’ve read. Jen Wang takes the complexities of identity and love and showcases them in a beautiful graphic novel. I hope this is adapted immediately because I want to feel the warm, fuzzy feelings I had while reading it in another form.
The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
Need a good cathartic weep after the joy that was Heartstopper? The Magic Fish is for you. Gorgeously drawn and told, The Magic Fish is about a young boy’s struggle to come out, his tender, beautiful relationship with his mother, and the way that stories connect us in ways that words often cannot.