Litty Committee: The Author Of Heartstopper On Her New Book And What To Expect In S2

Heartstopper Yearbook
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Be still our gay, beating hearts. Litty Committee was offered an exciting and rare opportunity to interview the brilliant Alice Oseman, author of the hit Heartstopper books that inspired your new favourite Netflix romcom.

Oseman has just released The Heartstopper Yearbook, a full-colour companion to the graphic novels that’s really giving us a severe case of cuteness aggression.

Here it is:

Ain’t it perty? The Yearbook contains never-before-seen illustrations, exclusive mini comics (including one on your fave lesbian couple), a look athow Alice’s art style has developed over the years and character profiles extraordinaire. Plus, it’s all narrated by a cartoon version of Alice herself. *Cuteness aggression intensifies*

Not only did we chat to Alice Oseman about the Heartstopper Yearbook during our interview, but we also squeezed the teensiest drop of tea on what we can expect from season two as well as a few other questions just for funsies.

PEDESTRIAN.TV: The Heartstopper Yearbook has all sorts of goodies: character profiles, family trees, bonus scenes… so what was your favourite part to include or draw for it?

Alice Oseman: My favourite part of the Yearbook is the ‘Art of Heartstopper‘ section, which takes the reader through the whole history of Heartstopper art. It starts with my first sketches in 2013 and progresses all the way until 2022. Nick and Charlie have changed a LOT in that time and it was a lot of fun to see!

PTV: In The Heartstopper Yearbook, you’ve inserted a cartoon version of yourself (which we loved to see) – what was it like inserting yourself into their world? Did you already have an avatar of yourself that you’ve used before?

Oseman: I’ve drawn myself a few times before but not loads, so it was really fun to draw myself in all kinds of different scenarios for the Yearbook – on holiday, in winter, even in an alternate universe!

PTV: You mentioned in another interview that Heartstopper‘s story was inspired by your own personal experiences attending a same-sex grammar school. Tell us then who or what was the inspiration for the characters – not just Nick and Charlie, but what about Tao, Tara and the rest of the crew? Were they based off people you knew in real life?

Oseman: I don’t base characters on people I know in real life – that’s a recipe for disaster because the people always find out one way or another! While the setting of Heartstopper was based on my own school world, the characters all came from my imagination.

Heartstopper Yearbook

PTV: Who are some of your favourite writers and comic artists? Or at least the ones who’ve influenced your art style?

Oseman: Big influences on my writing were The Catcher in the Rye and growing up in the John Green YA era where contemporary YA was really starting to boom. My art style, however, was influenced by a childhood of reading a bunch of teen romance manga such as Fruits Basket, along with my love for children’s anime like Pokémon and Digimon. Nowadays I feel like my inspiration comes from everywhere!

PTV: We know you have a bunch of other works based in the Heartstopper universe – in fact you even included a comic about Tara and Darcy for the Yearbook! Is there anyone else’s story you’re itching to tell?

Oseman: I’d love to do a comic about Nick’s dogs – I feel like they might get up to some adventures while Nick and Charlie are busy being adorable!

PTV: Since the success of the Netflix show, a lot of people have turned to your books to get an extra dose of “Narlie” or “Chick”. For some, this might just be the first comic they’ve ever picked up so for the Heartstopper fans who want to keep exploring the medium, what are some other comics you’d like to recommend?

Oseman: If you enjoyed Heartstopper, here are some other graphic novels you might enjoy:

  • Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savannah Ganucheau
  • The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag
  • Twelfth Grade Night by Molly Horton Booth, Stephanie Kate Strohm, and Jamie Green
  • Given by Natsuki Kizu

PTV: The show and your comics have been praised for how they deal with LGBTQ+ representation. How does it feel to know that your work might be the first time some audience members have felt seen?

Oseman: It’s an honour to be a small part of anyone’s journey, and I feel very grateful to be in a position to give someone representation they may not have seen before.

PTV: What would you tell your high school self? Any advice or adulty knowledge you wish you could’ve passed on?

Oseman: Keep writing the stuff you want to write and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

PTV: Is there anything you can tell us about season two and what to expect? For instance, can you tell us whether the Netflix show will closely follow the storyline of Volume 3 or will the show find its own feet?

Oseman: We will indeed be following the story of Volume 3, but there will be many surprises in store too. Like season one, certain characters’ stories will expand, and there will be a lot of scenes that are not in the comics…

Where to buy the Heartstopper Yearbook

Heartstopper season two will premiere sometime in 2023 on Netflix. Until then, here’s where you can buy a copy of the Heartstopper Yearbook if you want some exclusive #Narlie content to sustain you for now:

Amazon ($16) | Booktopia ($18.50) | eBay ($16) | QBD ($24.99)

Don’t forget, if you want to read the OG Heartstopper books, then check out our reading guide here.