How is it going fellow book lovers? I am here to tell you about a new graphic novel that will be released in April, Eat, and Love Yourself by Sweeney Boo. Through Netgalley, Nerds and Beyond got a digital advance reader copy to read and review.
Eat, and Love Yourself is a story that follows a young woman named Mindy, “who lives with an eating disorder and has to learn how to love herself again.” After a night out at the bar with her best friend, Mindy goes to the convenience store to pick up some snacks. There she sees a new chocolate bar called “Eat and Love Yourself.” With every piece of it, she eats, she gains perspective and slowly learns to love herself the way she is.
The story and art of the graphic novel are done by Sweeney Boo, colored by Joana Lafuente, lettering by David Hopkins, and script translations by Edward Gauvin.
To make the graphic novel a reality, she created and Kickstarter campaign. On the campaign page, it shows the first cover, a page with an excerpt, and character drawings. Some of the merchandise that the backers received for pledging included a digital copy, exclusive bookmarks and prints, softcover of the graphic novel, stickers, your name on the thank you page, and more. With 452 backers, the amount was reached and fully funded, and it was even picked up by BOOM! Studios for publication through BOOM! Box.
Comic artist, illustrator, and author Sweeney Boo lives in Montreal, Canada. She studied graphic design in the southwest of France, where she grew up. Sweeney Boo has done covers for comics Archie and Sabrina, Rat Queens, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, B*Witch, and more. If you have watched the show, Marvel Rising, you can see the costume designs she had the chance to work on for America Chavez, Inferno, and Patriot. Sweeney Boo is currently working on the comic Marvel Action: Captain Marvel as an artist along with Brittany Peer and writer Sam Maggs.
In the BOOM! Studios press release, writer and artist, Sweeney Boo said,
“Working on Eat, and Love Yourself is a true healing experience for me. I suffered from an eating disorder in my early twenties, and while I was working on myself and getting better, I discovered how taboo and difficult of a subject, it was to talk about. This book is for everyone who has a difficult relationship with their body, or just themselves… I want to show everyone that they’re beautiful the way they are.”
Wow. This graphic novel is one that I believe all young girls — well, really all girls — should read. It touches on the critical subjects of body image, eating disorders, self-confidence, anxiety, and more. Having dealt with some of those things in my life it hit home, making the character very relatable. Given the subject of the story and images, it could be a trigger for some.
Looking back at society and even still currently, everywhere you look, there are ads geared towards young girls and women that can have a negative effect, creating the constant struggle with the image of what is beauty and how we should look according to society’s misguided views. I am happy that Sweeney Boo tackled this subject matter, and included resources for people to reach out to if needed. The art throughout is beautiful, and the color scheme sets the mood and tone of the main character Mindy — also have to mention, love Mindy’s cat’s name. With the way it ended, I felt that it could be continued, that we just saw the start of her journey towards the hard work of self-acceptance.