Written by Pamela Ribon
Art by Cat Farris and Saida Temofonte
Published by Oni Press
Release Date: April 18, 2018

After a string of terrible boyfriends, all Nora wants is a great guy to date. But what if her perfect man turns out to be a 500 pound American Black Bear? Find out in the fantastic original graphic novel My Boyfriend Is A Bear!

My Boyfriend Is A Bear loosely revolves around the coming hibernation the Bear must embark on and how that may impact Nora and the Bear’s relationship. However, Ribon tells the tale mostly through compact vignettes, whether they be glimpses into memories of Nora and the Bear’s life together or listicle-esque pages like the “Douchebags I’ve Dated” montage or the “Cat Versus Bear” sections. I feel that the small bursts of events and information really pull together well and provide a relaxing read.

I love the slice of life style Ribon brings to the story. My Boyfriend Is A Bear is never really about whether or not Nora and the Bear love each other. Its core is not about how society is trying to pull them apart. It’s more about the experiences they have with one another and how they work so well as a couple, even if neither of them are perfect people.

I love the magical realism throughout as well. Yes, people do react to the Bear being a legit bear, but it somehow feels like the movie Her at times, where the fact that the Bear is an actual bear is an easy hurdle to hop over because he makes Nora happy. I’m not always a fan of magical realism, but I do think it’s used well in this graphic novel.

I love the minimalism of the art. There’s a professional ease to the drawings, like watching a figure skater complete a triple axel like it’s nothing. With that minimalism comes a great use of spacing throughout the comic. Not everyone uses spacing well and I like how it adds to the art style here.

I love when the artwork jumps from the more cartoonish style to completely different styles of art. I love how Nora’s vision becomes a cubist creation after drinking too many martinis. I like how life in hibernation is a series of watercolor paintings for the Bear. They’re interesting choices that really stand out.

The coloring really works well with the art. I like the choice of making the coloring more solid. I think it goes with the overall art style of the piece and makes the story stand out more than the colors.

Read My Boyfriend Is A Bear. Oh my gosh, please read it. It’s a weird premise, yeah, but it runs with that premise in a phantasmagorical way and I loved every page of it. I definitely recommend it.

The Verdict: 10/10


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