A Pure and Beautiful Story: Space Boy
Some writers in my spec fic group recently recommended the webtoon Space Boy.
Space Boy has to be one of the purest stories I’ve ever read. The characters feel so authentic and real, but there aren’t really any terrible characters. There are characters who make terrible choices, but they feel like read people who have made bad choices but can also do very good things.
I read the whole thing, up to the most recent post, when I was sick last weekend. I bawled through a lot of it, which I loved. I require stories with pure, deep emotion that make me cry. I often can’t cry about being sick or life not being what I hope it would be because it’s too big a thing to cry about, if that makes sense. So I need stories to help me process emotion. I loved Space Boy for that. I also felt very cared for because the characters are so kind to each other.
All this might make it sound like there is no conflict, but there is amazing conflict! I absolutely love that the author is able to create conflict without relying on cliches and tropes or rotten people. For example, when the MC arrives at a new school, she is greeted and welcomed by a really nice guy on the football team. When he introduces his girlfriend, I thought, “Oh, no! She’s gonna be typical popular mean girl and then the guy is gonna fall in love with the MC and drama, blah, blah, blah.”
Totally not what happens!!! The popular girl is a very powerful personality, but she is very loyal to her friends and not a terrible person at all. She makes poor choices sometimes and can come off as brusque or mean, but she doesn’t realize it. I absolutely love her character. And there is no love triangle between her, her boyfriend, and the MC.
In fact, the entire school is really nice to the new girl. There is still conflict. There are times where the kids don’t get along, partly because of misunderstandings, but everyone is a decent person. It was so refreshing to see a new kid arrive at a school and be treated as a human being.
Everyone being fairly decent frees up the narrative for more complex types of conflict. It’s really wonderful.
There are also very true and good responses to tragedy and conflict.
One part that really got me was when a character starts to have a panic attack after having several. I’ve had panic attacks before, and they are pretty much the worst experiences of my life. And based on the descriptions given by friends of mine who have PTSD and C-PTSD, my panic attacks were fairly mild. So this character feels another panic attack coming on, and she says, “No body, don’t have another panic attack!” But then, she does this:
😭😭😭😭 Tears are streaming down my face, right now, at this moment.
There is just so much truth in this story.
So in case you haven’t figured it out, I HIGHLY recommend Space Boy. Some people even read it as a family. There is some violence, but not gory, so it’s very clean. I would say probably 10 or 12 and up, depending on the sensitivity of the reader. There are a couple instances that could be challenging for certain people. I will mention some specifics below, but they will be mildly spoiler-y.
At the end of most episodes, the author draws little cartoon representations of himself responding to fan art, and he just really seems like a beautiful soul. So go read Space Boy, an incredibly pure story with authentic characters written by a beautiful soul.
Find the author at https://www.stephenmccranie.com/.
Least spoiler-y: There are several instances where prosthetics are shown during construction. This is a futuristic story where prosthetics are very advanced, so it looks a lot like actual body parts lying around. Could be uncomfortable for a sensitive reader.
Second least spoiler-y: There is a point with pet jeopardy, but I don’t think any animals are actually hurt. But I know some sensitive people who would have a hard time with it.
Most spoiler-y but important: There is a huge amount of death in one character’s backstory, though nothing is shown on screen. He basically wakes up and everyone is gone, including his parents and little brother. Could be intense for young children or emotional parents. Like me.
There may be more. I can’t anticipate what everyone is sensitive to, but I would rate it PG and say it’s an excellent and clean story.