Desert Isle Keeper
Have y’all ever read graphic novels? I didn’t for a really long time – I wasn’t sure where to start, I thought they were all comics, I had no idea what to do… It all felt overwhelming. I’m not a huge action fan so I didn’t want to read any that focused on that. However, over the past several months, I’ve become friendly with a lot of comic fans. Upon explaining my plight, they started sending me recommendations.
When I told them I loved contained stories with happily ever afters, I got five simultaneous recommendations for Check, Please.
A four-part graphic novel series, Check, Please! follows the story of Eric – Bitty – Bittle as he begins his college career at Samwell College. He’s an avid vlogger before he begins, so the conceit of the book is that we are his YouTube viewers and he’s telling us about his life. He’s a baker, and a hockey player, and very much a young gay man finding his way in the world.
He lives in the hockey house, affectionately called ‘Haus’, and the cast of characters around him are so pitch perfect to what hockey bros and college dudes are like – but in all the best ways. The object of Bitty’s immediate affection is Jack Zimmerman, the son of an NHL great with anxieties of his own.
As Bitty and Jack get to know each other, and as we get to know them and their world, what unfolds is a charming love story that I’ve now read approximately fourteen times.
Check, Please! Started its life as a webcomic, but has since been published in two books – Freshman/Sophomore Year (Book #1) and Junior/Senior Year (Book #2). There’s an additional book filled with text messages and ‘behind the scenes’ info called Check, Please! Chirpbook that is a must-have for anyone who falls for the series.
I’m well aware that this book may not hit the target for most AAR readers, but I have a feeling many of you know people for whom this would make an excellent gift. It has a welcoming and rabid fandom, and so anyone who loves this series will easily find other people to talk about Bitty and Jack and Parse, et al with. And if you’re at all inclined to give this top-to-bottom delight a go, please let me know. I love these doofuses with my whole heart.