Sometimes, diving into the sea to escape your problems just leads to more complications… even if they turn out OK in the end. When Corinth goes to clean up her local beach because she worries about sea life ingesting garbage, she has two interactions that color everything with a bad light: repeat texts from her abusive boyfriend, and a classmate who mocks her decision to pick up trash. Abandoning her phone on the sand, Corinth jumps into the water — and encounters a beautiful, sharp-toothed mermaid. So begins The Sea In You by Jessi Sheron, which will be published as a graphic novel by Iron Circus Comics in 2020.
This comic chronicles an unlikely but beautiful friendship between Corinth and the mermaid who names herself Skylla, after the ocean spirit who was cursed by a goddess to become a monster. Together, the pair learn from each other about human and mermaid culture, and bond over a shared love of the sea. They are both outcasts, but together, they find a sense of belonging.
The Sea In You is gorgeous in every way. Sheron’s art is stunning, the colors bright and perfectly rendered. The dialogue, though clunky at first, finds a rhythm after just a few pages and gets better and better as the story continues. There are panels that are laugh-out-loud funny and others that will make your heart absolutely melt. Plus, several moments are just #relatable.
As Corinth and Skylla get closer, Sheron also explores their relationships outside of each other: Corinth’s relationship with her boyfriend, Seth (and his bandmates), as well as Skylla’s relationships with her bigger, scarier sisters (104 of them!). This comic delves into serious issues like domestic partner violence (especially in the form of emotional abuse) and familial abuse, contrasting unhealthy behaviors against healthy ones. The Sea In You demonstrates the importance of creating and maintaining boundaries, of self-advocacy, and of learning to trust others.
Currently, The Sea In You is not on a strict update schedule, but you can subscribe on Tapas and follow Jessi Sheron on Twitter. For more from Iron Circus, including upcoming releases and new projects, check out ironcircus.com.