cover image Call Me Nathan

Call Me Nathan

Catherine Castro and Quentin Zuttion, trans. from the French by Evan McGorray. SelfMadeHero, $19.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-914224-01-0

Castro’s debut with artist Zuttion (The White Lady) is a deeply empathetic coming-of-age tale, based on the real life experiences of Castro’s friends. Twelve-year-old Nathan Molina—introduced as Lila—navigates both the jarring changes of puberty and a reckoning with unexpected aspects of his identity. Zuttion’s watercolors capture early in Nathan’s gender transition the wistful intensity of crushes, pondering whether the attraction is romantic or a desire to “be” the object of affection. Painful, fraught arguments with relatives around gender expectations—“I don’t want any of your frilly shit! I’m not your fucking doll!”—culminate in a more gentle reintroduction of Nathan to family: “Lila only existed for you... your illusion.” The desperation of those around Nathan trying to help with a problem they don’t fully grasp is depicted in frank fashion, highlighting both the difficulty of growing up and how the traumas of adolescence get compounded by the confusion of coming out. Relief in finally being accepted is made palpable in sequences such as Nathan’s unburdening to an understanding therapist. This heartfelt and accessible work will appeal to any reader grappling with personal identity or processing revelations within their own family. (Mar.)