TWO DEEPLY CLOSETED GAY MEN STRUGGLE TO ACCEPT THEMSELVES. IN A PARALLEL DIMENSION, THE CLOSET MONSTERS BRING HOPE.

Justin Case and the Closet Monster is a debut LGBTQ graphic novel about two closeted gay men, Justin and Peter, who struggle to come to terms with who they are. Each man, coming from a different background, has closed the door on the possibility that he might be gay and made a pact with himself to never open it.  Luckily for these men, members of The Closet Monster’s Guild – a legion of magical creatures that reside in a parallel dimension – are about to come along and open that door from the other side. A journey of faith, love, and family, this poignant story blends mythology, campy wit, and fantasy to show that while Justin’s path out of the closet has many hurdles, he learns that he is not alone in his quest to accept himself and find true love.

Named one of the best LGBTQ graphic novels of 2018 by The Advocate. Nominated for 2018 Virginia Library Association Graphic Novel Diversity Award and for the 2018 Canadian Independent Comic Book Wiki Best Graphic Novel Award. 

Justin Case and the Closet Monster cover

“What an original, entertaining, even hilarious book”- Sir Ian McKellan

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Accolades

A joyfully-arted story about two closeted men and the “closet monsters", magical creatures from a parallel dimension who try to help them come out. The (delightfully queer) anthropomorphic closet monsters are a mix of Roman mythology, literary fiction, and classic movie monsters — Medusa, Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein — and animals. Sexual innuendos and pop cultural references are sprinkled throughout, helping to make the work so fabulous. A four-color pastel-palette enlivens each page, which are designed as a single stand-alone comic strips that combine to tell the story. 

THE ADVOCATE

What an original, entertaining, even hilarious book you have made out of your experiences – a graphic work like no other. I hope it reaches those who need it most.

SIR IAN MCKELLEN

The artwork is wildly vivid and fun, perfectly capturing the plot and expanding on the story. Each human and monster is unique, ranging in skin color, body type, and
individual style. Each has hopes, dreams, motivations that flesh them out and make them easy to relate to. The monsters featured reflect the struggle of any closeted individual attempting to accept their true self. We deny them, fight them, and (hopefully) eventually begin to accept them in our lives and learn to live with them.

VIRGINIA LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

[A] beautiful queer fable for the young and young at heart...Julien creates Justin’s world with a cartoonist’s sensibilities combined with a decorative art aesthetic and a sophisticated color palette. In this world every out or closeted queer person is given a guardian to watch over them. Julien presents these guardians as monsters in an effort to upend the much feared movie cliche. [A] sweet, young gay man exploring the magic of a world that was always there for him to see if only he looked.

JOE PALMER, GAY LEAGUE

A first-rate graphic novel. I was completely surprised at the depths of the storytelling. Mark uses a narrative that flows quite easily, A lot of plot points strategically put in place, a lot of which have to do with the toxic issues having to do with the LGBTQ community. I applaud Mark for including these points. Loving how Mark was tying in [secondary] characters and how they weaved in and out of the story...A very admirable job with this book.

PAUL CHARLES, THE GAY COMIC GEEK

I was crying before I finished the introduction, and I was so moved as I devoured each page of the book. I know how much I needed this entire book right now, as I’m still “working through” the family thing right now. The art is stunning on every page, so captivating, and a perfect canvas for the story and message. I adore your use of patterns appropriate to the character’s personality, and also each one’s different door, as that is so true, we all definitely have our own very unique door!

T.S., Seattle, WA

A breakthrough in creative writing and thought...Beautifully written story and the art work and colors are incredible. A lot of thought and courage went into the development and concept of these stories and many are quite comical yet thought inspiring.

NYC COMIC GEEKS

This really is an important book.    I've read through a lot of graphic novels in my time. The ones that have mattered the most to me are the ones that have kept me thinking long after I've put them down again. Your book made me think. It's almost as though Calvin and Hobbes had published as a serialized novel, or if Berkley Breathed had pushed the best of the Bloom County mini-series panels for years instead of weeks. I've lamented the death of the classic Sunday Comic Strip, but am delighted to see you resurrect it as such a vital scheme for sequential art novelization.

E.T., Kingston, ON

If you haven’t been tuned in to the latest in queer comics or just want a list of some incredibly smart, beautiful works by companies and creators big and small, you’ve come to the right place. An indie title doing right by LGBTA fans.

MATT SANTORI, COMICOSITY