The Great British Bake Off finalist and bestselling cookbook author Kim-Joy is collaborating with Alti Firmansyah on her first graphic novel, Turtle Bread: A Graphic Novel About Baking, Fitting In, and the Power of Friendship. The project will arrive on digital via Comixology Originals in May, to be followed in print from Dark Horse Comics in October.
They’ll be joined by letterer Joamette Gil, designer Cindy Leong, and editors Felix Horne and Allison O’Toole for a project that explores not only friendship and baked goods, but also mental health issues.
“Turtle Bread is a book about self-awareness,” said Kim-Joy. “It’s about that feeling of loneliness, of not fitting in or feeling good enough, of self-criticism, and the path towards self-acceptance. This is explored through baking, and in particular, the symbolism of the turtle–coming out of its shell and moving forward; however slowly that may be. Hence: Turtle Bread! (And yes, there’s actual turtle themed bread! Plus loads of other recipes). It’s NOT a magical story about how baking and friendship fix everything, but a story about the small steps forward (and sometimes sideways and backwards) gradually adding up.”
Here’s the description from the publisher:
In Turtle Bread, a young woman named Yan who has a passion for baking stumbles upon a local Baking Club on her way home from another unsuccessful job interview. Her social anxiety tries to keep her away but the bakers encourage her to come out of her shell, especially the caring and supportive Bea. As the club bakes together, Yan discovers that her new friends may need her too, more than she realizes…
Beatrice, Yan, Amit, Zara, and Geraint make for a motley cast, each with their own individual issues and life challenges they are trying to cope with–from death, to finding romantic partners, to cancer, to divorce, to children, to keeping a job. But when Bea abruptly leaves Baking Club without a trace, they must hold it together and head out in search of answers and closure.
The graphic novel arrives on Comixology at the purr-fect time, as Kim-Joy’s next cookbook, Bake Me a Cat, will also arrive in May — which is also Mental Health Month.
“Turtle Bread is a story about the strength of vulnerability; how showing a little of our softness from beneath a tough exterior shell can break down barriers between us that serve to reinforce the loneliness in the world,” Kim-Joy added. “Being cognizant of who we are and how we affect others is a gift. I want people to read Turtle Bread and feel less alone, comforted, and inspired to drop their armor, come together and bring meaning to their lives; in the same way separate ingredients come together when baked to form something fresh and new.”