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The Lonesome Era

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Cute animal characters tell the tale of an awkward, coming-of-age, unreciprocated queer crush in Rust Belt America.

Camden is a cat! Camden is also crushing hard on his best buddy and terrible influence, Jeremiah. Young, bored, and trapped in their slowly decomposing Rust Belt town, Camden tamps down his burgeoning feelings for the local ne'er-do-well and allows himself to
Paperback, 424 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Iron Circus Comics
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Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  126 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Rod Brown
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Teen angst alert! Set in the 1990s, this is a coming of age story about a gay teen in love with his best friend, a crass metalhead who is a bad influence to say the least. There are some bullies, some homophobia, and a whole lot of moping.

It not bad, but I just couldn't bring myself to care about any of it.
Alexander Peterhans
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Hello! I was a teenager in the 90s, and grew up on a healthy diet of teenage angst, Nirvana, the Breeders, Pixies, Sonic Youth and the Smashing Pumpkins (to name a few).. Camden is a cat teenager in the 90s, who is more into metal. He's also gay, very much in the closet, and has a huge crush on his delinquent best friend Jeremiah, who is literally a monkey.

What follows are Camden's misadventures with Jeremiah, and Camden's slow acceptance that he not only is gay, but also that Jeremiah might not
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via Edelweiss for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

This graphic novel tells the story of a closeted gay teen with a crush on his best friend. They have urban adventures together and everything is narrated in short black and white strips, which makes for a quick read.

I didn't love this book in a "there's nothing that speaks to me" way. I'm sure some gay teen out there will be able to relate to at least some of the aspect
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I want to like this more than I do. There's a lot going for it. It's depiction of youth is accurate and authentic, the art is well done, and the story feels real as opposed to contrived. However there's a lot of little things that just pop up out of no where that really don't make sense in the moment and never really pay off in the end.

It's worth reading, but expect a few directionless detours along the way.
This is slow, and painful and sad, but stupid, and typical and slightly funny at the same time.

Camden is in love with his best friend. HIs best friend doesn't seem to care, or notice, and just wants to do typical stupid teenage boy stuff, such as going to death metal concerts and eating the food that someone left of the floor.

Camden likes to look at the stars.

Does not seem like a good match, and perhaps it isn't, but as the French say, the Heart knows things that the Head doesn't understand.

Shan( Shans_Shelves) 💜
The Lonesome Era is a graphic novel about Camden the Cat who has a crush on his best friend, Jeremiah. It explores Camden’s feelings with being gay, and portrays the consequences and sometimes heartache of unrequited crushes.

What I liked about this from the beginning, was how realistic it is. I’m all for novels with happily ever afters, in which the characters tell their crushes how they feel and lo and behold they like them back. Unfortunately, that’s not real life. Most of the time- your teen
Eshana Ranasinghe
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
The Lonesome Era was sweet and had really cute art. The story and the characters didn't really connect with me though. I liked the friendship between Camden and Jeremiah despite Jeremiah being such a terrible influence. Camden's insecurities about his sexuality and how it affected his relationship with his friend and family was well done and felt genuine. Maybe it was the length of the story or how it was written, everything felt very superficial in a way. Camden's sister was really nice :)
It w
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
I definitely expected more and better on more than 400 pages. At least more of how they spend their days as friends. It was mostly nothing but "dude" here "dude" there, and then main character sad because his best friend does not know and understand he's gay. Completely shallow.

The only thing I enjoyed was how it is drawn. I would like to see more but with totally different story.
Dec 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Cute and angsty and authentic. This feels like the 90s to me, but maybe things just haven't changed much? Or maybe it was about the 90s. Anyway, I liked it. It reminded me of Night in the Woods but slightly gayer. I liked Night in the Woods too, and it's already pretty gay. ...more
Tracy (A Good Novel)
While not my favorite thing I've ever read, obviously not everything has to be, and this was sweeter than I expected. It reads extremely quickly (I read the first 300 pages in barely forty minutes or so, if that) and it was definitely relatable in ways I did not expect. (Look, you can just @ me specifically next time with that Oxford Companion joke, all right?) (view spoiler) ...more
Ms. Kelly
This book is quick and cute.

The core theme of self-acceptance happening before social acceptance is possible is nicely done. It is especially nice to see a straight male character being loving and welcoming to his gay male best friend.

The art and anthropomorphized characters could make the potentially touchy subject more accessible for people uncomfortable with the visuals of gay boys.

Although I've seen this book recommended for Teens grade 10+, there is really nothing objectionable about this
Ije the Devourer of Books
Really great coming of age graphic novel about a young man who is a bit of a nerd. He has a crush on his best friend who is very good at getting the two of them into all kinds of trouble.

The story focuses on how their friendship develops as they get into and out of trouble. It is a lovely story with black and white artwork portraying the complex feelings that come with unrequited attraction.

I like how the story manages to be emotional,without much text and how the simplicity of the black and wh
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I really liked the cute art style and the different animal appearances of the characters in this YA graphic novel. Camden is a teenager who is coming to grips with his sexuality and his crush on his best friend, Jeremiah. Jeremiah is a teenage rebel, into death metal, skateboarding, drugs and drinking, and he constantly puts Camden down even with homophobic slurs; which is a bit uncomfortable, but hey, who didn't have a teenage infatuation with someone who was toxic and terrible for them? It was ...more
Natalie Marlin
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
(Read for review via Edelweiss+)

I'll happily read any story about awkward gay adolescence, and on that front, this was fine. Mostly appreciated the art style and spare paneling, as well as how closely this got details like teenage latching onto metal bands and aimlessness down. It still felt like a good portion of the middle stretch kind of wandered, and a lot of the payoff of seeds planted in the first 100 pages kind of fell flat from how quietly or open-endedly they resolved. Worth reading if
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

I feel very bittersweet about this book. Camden, the main character, is gay and has a huge crush on his best friend. (Whom I do not care for in the slightest. He's a huge jerk.) The story centers around his very sad and dark coming out story, but there is a kind of quiet hopefulness towards the end. I wish there was a better resolution, but I'm not completely dissatisfied.
DarkRaven Reviews
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
I liked the message this book was trying to send out, however the cat needs to make better friends. He's crushing on his best friend that makes him feel worthless. Not the kind of message you wanna portray with a book like this. I just hope that this gets solved in a further book. The story doesn't really end well and leaves you wondering about a lot. Especially if the cat ever finds happiness. This book is OK to waste an hour or so of your time but other than that there are other books that por ...more
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Lonesome Era is a young adult graphic novel. Camden realizes that he has a crush on his best friend and does not know what to do. Not only that, his best friend is also a terrible influence on him causing Camden to break his leg, steal, get in fights, among other things. The book explores a difficult problem in a real way, I just wish the ending had a little more weight to it. Book contains some cursing, drinking, drug use.
Ali Kennedy
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely little graphic novel aimed at young adults. However, I think it could also be targeted at younger ages - pre-teen - due to the use of animals as the protagonists. The use of such characters means the book is able to deal with adult themes such as drug use and sexuality in a non invasive or overhwleming way. Could be a good introduction to such topics for children.

The illustrations are clean and striking.

It is also a fast read that is not too cluttered with dialogue.
Homewood Library
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is quick and cute.

The core theme of self-acceptance happening before social acceptance is possible is nicely done. It is especially nice to see a straight male character being loving and welcoming to his gay male best friend.

The art and anthropomorphized characters could make the potentially touchy subject more accessible for people uncomfortable with the visuals of gay boys. - Miss Kelly
DNF at p 293

I really loved the art style but the story put me in a weird, dark place. While reading this I felt lonely, sad, and messed up in general. It reminded me of a worse time in my adolescence where I didn't like myself and surrounded myself with people I didn't like, either. This book was truly evocative of a "lonesome era," which, unfortunately, wasn't something I could get with.
Jenny Houle
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this graphic novel. Camden’s story is relatable for so many young people trying to come out for the first time. I really liked that he told his best friend that certain things he said were offensive and made it hard for him to come out, and I am also glad that his best friend took that into consideration afterwards. In a perfect world it would be that simple, but it often isn’t. I feel like Camden’s story gives hope to those who have yet to take the plunge.
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The art style was really nice and i like how the characters were Portrayed along with interactions with other characters. The emotional struggles with his sister and their lack of emotional connection in the beginning.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, lgbtq
i really liked this. not much happens in terms of plot or even really character development, but it creates a vivid sense of atmosphere and loneliness that will be familiar to anyone who is or has been a gay closeted teen.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
A cute and well-drawn comic about a teenage boy (drawn as a cat) growing up in a Rust Belt suburb who realizes he's in love with his best friend, who's also a bad influence. Captures teen angst and restlessness very realistically. ...more
Andrew Greenlaw-Houldsworth
Not bad. An interesting snapshot of 90s gay experience. Really enjoyed the illustrations, and the setting sent me back which was fun. That being said, it was a little boring, and I was underwhelmed by the story. The great illustrations are what pushed this book into Okay Land.
Michelle Gray
I just couldn't get onboard with this book! Camden, the main character, is struggling with coming out, all the while hanging out with his absolutely unsupportive, troublesome friend, Jeremiah. I spent the whole book wanting Camden to dump the jerk friend and find new people to hang out with. ...more
Muhemed Masika
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Any faster you'd die quickly ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Camden is a very relatable and awkward cat with a crush on his best friend. Jeremiah is a bad influence and really not very likeable at all. Eventually Camden will grow out of his teenage crush and make some better friends, but not during the course of this book. I would probably prefer to read about that, but I guess that's not the point of the book. I did really enjoy the art style though.

[Free ARC from NetGalley and Edelweiss+]
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this and want to give it to every gay or questioning young adult ever. Or, really, just to anyone.
Cute, but dark coming out story
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Jon Allen studied illustration at Pratt Institute and holds a master's degree in painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He teaches foundation drawing. In addition to "Ohio Is For Sale," he wrote and illustrated "Vacationland," a self-published graphic novel. ...more

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