Early Look: Dark Horse Comics’ ‘The Airless Year,’ Due June 2022

by Brendan M. Allen

As kids, there are some things we just can’t change—but discovering autonomy and how to face the world against life’s challenges is a chance to grow.

From editor and writer Adam P. Knave, artist Valentine Barker, and letterer Frank Cvetkovic comes an all-new LGBTQ+ story for young adults, The Airless Year. It’s a story of self-discovery and empowerment about taking control where you can, and learning to let the rest go.

‘For Kacee, a queer Black girl in middle school, everything feels like a struggle. When she fails a class as a result of her stress and ends up in summer school, she starts to wonder why she even bothers trying–and ultimately begins to discover her own power to improve the things in her life she can control, and try to let go of what she can’t.’

“This was a collaboration deeper than any I’ve experienced in comics. Valentine, Frank, and I worked closer than I ever have while making a comic, we each nudged the plots and the script around, and had a say in art composition and lettering style,” said Knave. “The Airless Year is a story about the period in your life just before High School, which is a time fraught with deep, personal challenges. It’s the first time you really get to consider redefining yourself. When you’re younger, you have even more external forces pressing down and influencing those choices.”

“Middle school is the beginning of a life-long journey of self discovery,” added Barker. “You need to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate the world around you and find time to have a life. It isn’t easy. It’s what begins forging people into who they’ll become. I wouldn’t have been able to tackle such a weighty topic without the patience and support of my collaborators Adam and Frank. We all brought insight and wisdom to the table.”

The Airless Year is out from Dark Horse Comics June 8, 2022.

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