(July 22) London-based illustrator and children’s book author Lizzy Stewart’s graphic novel debut IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE is a poignant coming-of-age story which follows several young women on their paths to adulthood. In a series of interconnected vignettes, Stewart’s book explores the circuitous paths lives can take and the changes in perspective gained along the way. Drawn in a variety of different styles, from watercolor to colored pencil to pen and ink, the style of this book echoes the evolution of the characters within.
A young girl imagines a grand future for herself, far from the drab British suburbs. Two friends, once inseparable, find their connection gradually slipping away. Three women discuss how life in the big city makes them feel seen — or invisible. Stewart focuses on ordinary, slice-of-life moments and charges these scenes with a quiet intensity. Through keen observation and an ear for naturalistic dialogue, she reveals the complex natures of her characters, from their confidence to their insecurities, as they experience the joys and pains of growing up.
Here’s what people are saying about IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE:
“In beautifully observed moments on buses, in pubs and on rooftops, Lizzy Stewart delicately captures the ebb and flow of friendships over time, and how the long uneventful afternoons of childhood can linger on into our adult lives.”― Jon McNaught (Kingdom)
“Lizzy Stewart’s book captures snapshots of life unfolding through small, evocative moments rich with meaning and mood. A beautiful, poignant and funny exploration of the unpredictability of life.”― Katriona Chapman (Breakwater)
“Each of Lizzy Stewart’s carefully fragmented stories deftly takes us on a journey from the long tedium of a teenage summer to the uncertainty and anxiety of adulthood. It is a quietly powerful book, and Stewart’s well chosen and often witty dialogue goes straight to the heart. Her artwork is filmic and beautiful and the muted colors and huge, washed skies are the perfect backdrops to this story.”― Isabel Greenberg (Glass Town)
Fantagraphics will publish the evocative and lyrical IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE on July 27, 2021.
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Lizzy Stewart is an illustrator and author based in London. She has written and illustrated books for children as well as countless comics and zines. She teaches illustration at Goldsmiths University and has also taught courses at the Tate and on behalf of the National Portrait Gallery. She studied at Edinburgh College of Art and Central St Martins.