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Cathy G. Johnson’s The Breakaways joins the list of banned graphic novels making headlines over the past few weeks after Spring Branch Independent School District in Texas banned it from school libraries.
Spring Branch Independent School District, which serves part of Houston, told the Houston Chronicle that the graphic novel was removed from schools because it was “not age appropriate nor was it appropriate for its intended educational use.” A committee decided to ban it after receiving a letter from a parent.
The graphic novel is about a diverse 8th-grade soccer team that includes a trans character.
“The book includes kids of all sorts of identities to reflect the world that is around us,” creator Cathy G. Johnson told the Chronicle. “There is a transgender student who comes out in the book. He is just one of many characters who make up my book, as well as one of the identities that make up the world.”
Continue reading “Comics Lowdown | Texas school district bans ‘The Breakaways’”
The creator of ‘Gorgeous’ and ‘Jeremiah’ discusses her new book, ‘The Breakaways.’
Cathy G. Johnson is the cartoonist behind books like Gorgeous and Jeremiah. Her new book, coming out this week from First Second Books, is The Breakaways.
It’s larger than Johnson’s previous books in many regards. The book has an ensemble cast, and it manages to find ways to reveal how each girl is much more complex than they initially seem or than they try to present. It is a beautifully made and thoughtful book that avoids a lot of the cliches around sports stories. They don’t win. They are bad at soccer. But that’s not what’s important. And the ways that this is shown in small, relatable ways, eschewing a melodramatic or sentimental approach, is what makes the book resonate in so many ways.
Johnson is a teacher and podcaster who is one half of Drawing a Dialogue with e jackson, and she was kind enough to talk about the book and her work.
Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Cathy G. Johnson”