Heartstopper is now available to stream on Netflix. The coming-of-age queer love story stars Kit Connor ( His Dark Materials,Rocketman ) as the kind-hearted, popular rugby boy Nick Nelson and newcomer Joe Locke as chronic overthinker Charlie Spring.
The eight-part Netflix series is based on the hugely popular boy-meets-boy graphic novel/webcomic by Alice Oseman which, since the first volume was released in 2017, has been viewed 60 million times, bagging 259 thousand subscribers and 4.3 million likes .
Nick befriends Charlie when they are put in the same class in their British grammar school, but it soon becomes clear to them both that this is something more than friendship, as they navigate the highs and lows of first love, friendships, coming out, and mental health.
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Along for the ride are Charlie’s friends’ Elle (Yasmin Finney), Tao (William Gao) and Isaac (Tobie Donovan), and girlfriends Darcy (Kizzy Edgell) and Tara (Corinna Brown).
Elle is a transgender teen who was forced to move schools after facing horrific abuse, choosing to enroll in the all-girls school down the road. It’s a breakout role for Finney, a transgender actress herself who found fame on TikTok.
Oseman was keen for the young actors – most of whom are making their screen debut, and are friends in real life – to make the characters their own rather than copying directly from the script.
Fans of the heartwarming, tender comic will have been waiting for this adaptation, which is based on the first volume of Oseman’s novel. Given that this series has already received glowing reviews, it’s likely that Netflix will commission a second series.
If you can’t wait until then, you can read the entire graphic novel that inspired the show. Here’s everything you need to know about it’s graphic origins.
How to read the Heartstopper comics
Heartstopper started life as a webcomic, back in 2016. Award winning young adult author Oseman started uploading ‘episodes’ to caps where you can still read all 205 episodes, split into 7 chapters.
You can read the comics for free, but there’s the option to support Oseman on Patreon for between one and four pounds, and you’ll get some exclusive content behind the scenes.
The 25-year-old Brit has published four YA novels: Loveless, I Was Born for This, Radio Silence, and solitaire but heart stopper is her biggest hit so far. It became such a hit among readers for showcasing queer love and joy, that Oseman met her crowd funding goal for a limited print-run edition in just two hours.
That’s how the printed graphic novel equivalent was born, which you can buy from Waterstones, Amazon or Bookshop.org – the links to all can be found here on Oseman’s website. But how many volumes are there in total?
How many Heartstopper volumes are there?
Heartstopper Volume One was published by Hachette Children’s Group in Spring 2019, followed by Volume Two a few months later. A further two volumes have been published since then as well as a coloring book and Yearbook. That makes four volumes in total,
Since then, Hachette Children’s Group have published a further two volumes and a coloring book. One million print copies have already been sold worldwide, a number likely to sky rocket following the Netflix adaptation.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.