WEBCOMIC and promotional campaign | SELF-INITIATED | I ONGOING
Sage is the spiritual coming out story of a non-binary 20 something year old.
While researching for my masters thesis project, I re-discovered a lack of non-binary representation and understanding in both UK and US culture.
Autobiographical books like Maia Kobabe's Gender Queer (one of the most banned books in America) shows a clear lack of understanding, fear mongering and a lack of support for the experience of young gender non-conforming individuals. As a non-binary illustrator, I seek to add to current representation through my characters and storytelling.
Sage follows the story of best-friends since preschool Sage Summers and Riley Purdy as they navigate early adulthood, gain a greater understanding of themselves and discover how to chart a non-traditional path in life.
Sage has killed almost every plant they’ve owned but tried their best to maintain the fantasy of being a perfect person for their family - they have a boyfriend, go to college for something that will make money someday and remember to wash their dishes. But when they pitch headfirst into depression, watch relationships implode, get kicked out of school, and realize things about themselves there is no way back from - Sage is faced with their worst fears.
They’re forced to look at themselves for the first time.
In the sleepy countryside of Pennsylvania, at a breaking point, Sage decides to run. Everything is chaos and uncertainty as they shut off their phone and walk away from their University without telling anyone - even Riley.
Nancy Knight, fortune teller and greenhouse owner, finds Sage and lets them stay in the garden shed while they get back on their feet. For Sage, working at the greenhouse becomes a haven of safety and a symbol of self-reliance as they deal with flashbacks of trauma from a codependent relationship and their own shaky mental health. Sage begins to learn how to take care of themselves through plants and their relationship with Nancy. Nancy has always charted her own path through life with no apologies, and this inspires Sage to think about themselves and what they want for the first time.
In the beginning of this story, Sage is someone that allows life to happen to them. But as they grow, Sage realizes they can chart their own path through life. Their choices are powerful and they can choose what kind of life they want to live.
Sage becomes a leader - they show us that everyone is incredibly imperfect, but there is a beauty in fighting every day to become a better version of yourself.
Sage is a story that strives to make issues like non-traditional relationships, polyamory, mental health, sexuality, coming out to family, learning how to be a healthy communicator, and beginning to listen to yourself for the first time in your life accessible to a younger audience.
SAGE | DEVELOPMENT