A few years ago when I was spotlighting free comics on the web, I was delighted to come across Archie Bongiovanni’s GREASE BATS, a freewheeling exploration of the humorous goings on among a bunch of young queer friends.
And now Andy and Scout are getting their first original graphic novel with GREASE BATS, to be published next year by Boom! Studios. The strip is serialized on Autostraddle’s Saturday Morning Cartoon series, but this book will have all-new episodes mixed with some old favorites.
The strip features two best friends — brash, confident Andy, a trans genderqueer individual, and their BFF Scout, who is still exploring their identity and place in the world. The shadow of “Dykes to Watch Out For” looms over most projects of this kind, but GREASE BATS holds its own with an honest but kind examination of the ins and outs of contemporary queer life, love, sex and identity — and also just the dumb shit that young folks get into every where.
Bongiovanni is also the author of A Quick And Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns,and they have a light touch that makes queer issues eminently relatable, even if you’re just a cis het ally (like me.)
“When I created GREASE BATS, I sought to draw what the possibilities of radical friendship can look like. I wanted to draw a comic that reflected the nuances of who my community was — of who I am.” said Bongiovanni. “My characters are flawed, diverse, weird, and living in a world where there isn’t one way to be, act, look, date, or handle the complicated situation of going to a party where all your exes are.”
“GREASE BATS is rooted in emotional honesty and a very real portrayal of some of the ins and outs of being queer,” said Shannon Watters, Editor, BOOM! Studios. “And Archie is such a dynamic and hilarious cartoonist that it’s hard not to identify with Andy and Scout as they make their way through their various misadventures in love and life.”
GREASE BATS will be published in July as part of the BOOM BOX! line.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.