Although he’s currently living in Paris, Kai’s roots are in Beirut, where this story is set. The story draws from Kai’s own experiences as a young queer comic book artist in the city, weaving together “art, sex and political uprising.” It’s a sultry yet sensitive story that’s enhanced by kaleidoscopic artwork and an inviting color palette of soft pastels.
Restless is in stores now. Kai will kick off a book tour later this week in Canada before heading to the Northeast United States next week:
You can find the preview and the full description from Street Noise below.
Restless, by Joseph Kai
“An absolutely stunning meditation on the anxieties of queer sex and of political revolution. Exploring the quiet tension of chosen family elegantly and precisely.” —Shing Yin Khor, author of The Legend of Auntie Po
What would life feel like without fear and oppression? Is it possible to find solace in the power of chosen family, underground art collectives, and ultimately revolution?
It’s 30 years after the end of the civil war in Beirut, Lebanon, and a few months before the disastrous explosion of August 2020. Samar, a young queer comic book artist, wanders between anguished dreams, childhood memories, sexual experiences, and Beirut’s alternative communities. This abstractly autobiographical story tells of the author’s anxiety over living in a complex city of changing colors and moods. Three powerful themes: art, sex, and political uprising, are interwoven in a compelling narrative and an otherwordly color palette.
Joseph Kai is a queer artist from Beirut, Lebanon. He has published several works with the Lebanese collective of BD Samandal Comics. Joseph has participated in numerous festivals and exhibitions in Beirut, Lebanon; Berlin, Germany; Brussels, Belgium; and both Angouleme and Paris, France. He is currently living and working in Paris. Restless is his debut graphic novel.