TWIN FALLS — If you’re a fan of graphic novels, you’ll soon have a locally-written option.
Twin Falls resident Jen Lee’s first full-length graphic novel, “Garbage Night,” will be released June 13 by publisher Nobrow Press.
A graphic novel is a story published in comic strip format.
Want to buy it? It’ll be available at local bookstores, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and through the publisher’s website.
Lee will participate in two publicity events soon for her new novel: one in Toronto, Canada, and an American Library Association trade show in Chicago.
“Garbage Night” is a young adult novel that tells the story of Simon, a dog who wears a hoodie sweatshirt and glasses. He lives in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Simon is a little sheltered, said New York City-based Nobrow publicist Tucker Stone.
He’s friends with a laid-back raccoon and a deer who has a broken antler. They realize humans won’t be coming back to Earth to dispose garbage for them to eat.
The animals hear rumors another town has food. During the journey, they meet someone new, who’s “rough and meaner,” Stone said, and picks on the raccoon and deer.
Simon comes to terms with the fact that he’s cool and rough, but maybe doesn’t want to be like that and would rather be with his friends.
“The ‘Garbage Night’ is a pretty traditional coming of age story,” Stone said.
Last year, Lee teamed up with Nobrow to publish a small 20-page graphic novel, “Vacancy.” It did well, Stone said, so they decided to pursue a full-length novel.
Lee has also produced a popular webcomic for years called “Thunderpaw.”
“It’s a really unusual style of illustration,” Stone said. “That’s how we came across her.”
Lee’s style of illustration is “useful and exciting,” he added.
Her new graphic novel is “very funny at the end of the day,” he said, but the characters are experiencing deep feelings people can relate to.
Throughout the story, “standing up for yourself is not always going to be punching a bully,” Stone said. “Jen’s able to tell the story without it being didactic and with it still being exciting.”
Lee has a contemporary style of work, Stone said, but proves a graphic novel can be “just as valid of a medium to tell honest, insightful stories people can relate with.”