How Heartstopper Went From Spin-off to Sensation

Official Heartstopper Poster

How Heartstopper Went From Spin-off to Sensation

From an online comic to a Netflix series, Heartstopper has certainly shot up in popularity. This love story about two high school boys is constantly gaining new fans. Author Alice Oseman has told this story in many different mediums, each of which have received universal acclaim. A successful Netflix series proves that Heartstopper is a story that people live. However, like most successes, this one took a long time. A lot had to happen for the story to get to the point that it’s at. The journey to Netflix is an uplifting tale of working hard to succeed. Heartstopper is heartfelt, engaging, and is now a huge phenomenon among young readers.

The Beginning of Heartstopper

The two main characters of Heartstopper, Nick and Charlie, were not originally in their own story. The characters came from Oseman’s 2014 novel Solitaire. This novel is about Tori Spring, Charlie’s older sister. While the book takes place after some of the events of Heartstopper, Oseman decided to go back and explore the stories of Nick and Charlie. That led to Nick and Charlie (A Solitaire Novella). This novella was a small story after Oseman decided that she wanted to explore the couple further. The story is about what will happen to the two when Charlie goes to college. A second novella, This Winter, saw the couple over the holiday season. After these stories, Oseman decided to go back in time a little bit further to their beginnings.

Heartstopper Taking Off

Alice Oseman, author of Heartstopper
Photo by Lasinha Curiosa

After the novella, came the story that millions of fans worldwide know today, Oseman wrote and drew an online graphic novel, or webcomic, Heartstopper. This graphic novel saw how Nick and Charlie got together and the adversity each of them faced. It also fleshes out some of their friends, telling their own stories as well. Oseman originally published the Heartstopper webcomic on Tumblr in 2016. It was online only at the beginning without physical copies. After people started reading the webcomics, Oseman knew she had to make them into physical copies. She started a Kickstarter to convert the webcomics into physical graphic novels. She met her goal without a problem, and the first two volumes were soon published in 2019 and went into the hands of old and new fans.

Mainstream Popularity

Joe Locke, who plays Charlie Spring in Heartstopper television series
Photo by France RC Roster Con

As of now, Oseman has published four volumes of the Heartstopper graphic novels, all to critical acclaim. The most recent book came out in 2021. However, the storytelling is far from being done. Due to the massive success of Heartstopper, Netflix bought the rights so that this story could be a television series. In 2022, that story went to the screens of Netflix with an eight episode season. Starring Kit Connor and Joe Locke as Nick and Charlie, respectively, this young adult series came to life. Much like the graphic novels, the television series had a lot of positive acclaim The second season recently came out on August 3, with many fans binge-watching the new season immediately.

The Impact

Heartstopper has been praised for its positive LGBTQ reputation
Photo by RawPixel

Heartstopper as a whole has received universal praise. The praise comes from critics, but also from its target audience, young members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Many fans have found this series to be great LGBTQIA+ representation, as well as a wonderful representation of mental health struggles. The series has made young people feel safe, and they have fallen in love with the characters of Nick and Charlie. While it is often risky for fans when a beloved book series gets a screen adaptation, the television show did not lose fans. It was a well-made and well-casted adaptation that did the characters justice. Overall, this is a story that gives positive high school LGBTQIA+ representation that has completely captured many hearts.

Heartstopper’s Future

Even though the television series is currently on the air, the graphic novels still have more stories to tell. The fifth volume of the Heartstopper graphic novels is coming out in December of 2023. Already, there is a lot of excitement for that story. There are also plans for a sixth graphic novel, which will be the end of the graphic novel series. There is no release date for the sixth volume at the moment, but it will likely not come out for a long time. In terms of the television series, a third season is in the works. Netflix made this announcement along with the second season announcement. It is unclear how long the television series will be, but considering the current success, the show will most likely be around for a while.

Featured Photo by Netflix

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