Firebugs (Hardcover)

Firebugs By Nino Bulling Cover Image

Firebugs (Hardcover)


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Everything is changing–

– but everything is also exactly the same. Ingken can’t ignore it: ice caps stained brown from forest fires, pipeline construction, drought… the whole world somehow persists despite the slow erosion of stability.

After a trip to Paris, Ingken returns home ready for a break from drugs. Their supportive partner, Lily, is flushed, excited about a new connection she’s made. Although Ingken wants to be happy for her, there’s a discomfort they can’t shake. Sleepless nights fill with an endless scroll of images and headlines about climate disaster. A vague dysphoria simmers under their skin; they are able to identify that like Lily, they are changing, but they’re not sure exactly how and at what pace. Everyone keeps telling them to burn themself to the ground and build themself back up but they worry about the kind of debris that fire might leave behind.

Nino Bulling’s artwork is immediately familiar. Like a conversation with a good friend, their story is told as quiet as it can be loud. Crowds and landscapes squiggle in expressive black and white. Red cuts through panels with energy and persistence, bringing life to what might seem dead. In its most intimate moments, Firebugs asks what it means to transition in a transitioning world.

Nino Bulling is an artist and writer from Berlin, Germany. They studied ceramics and graphic design but then fell in love with comics. Part of their spare time is spent co-organizing a comic workers’ union.

Bulling has published a host of short stories and four graphic novels. Their most recent publication to date is the anthology Cutes: Collected queer and trans comics, co-edited with Lebanese comics collective Samandal. Bulling’s first fictional work Firebugs was originally released in 2022 as part of their contribution to documenta fifteen in Kassel.

Product Details ISBN: 9781770467057
ISBN-10: 177046705X
Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly
Publication Date: February 13th, 2024
Pages: 164
Language: English

“The deep queerness at the heart of Firebugs always promised a propulsive and comforting read for me, but I found myself regularly stopped in my tracks, marveling at the beauty of the artwork. Nino Bulling’s cartooning is completely masterful.” —Lee Lai, author of Stone Fruit

Firebugs is absolutely exquisitely drawn, Nino's drawing has a playful looseness that so many people attempt but almost none achieve. I am both jealous and proud. Nino looks at navigating love amidst the confusing amorphous experience of coming into transness within the drug saturated queer party scene. I get something new and exciting out of Firebugs each time I read it.” —Tommi Parrish, author of Men I Trust

“An unusually nuanced story of transition delivered in quietly incandescent dialogue and striking visuals.” —The Paris Review

“A tender, probing exploration of queer identity in a world seemingly on the verge of collapse, brought to life with warmth and grace by Bulling's exceptionally fluid, emotionally evocative linework.” —Library Journal, Starred Review