Written by Mark Julien
Drawn by Mark Julien
Softcover, 200 pages, Full colour 8.5x11"
Two deeply closeted gay men struggle to accept themselves. In a parallel dimension, the Closet Monsters bring hope. A graphic novel written, illustrated, and coloured by Mark Julien
Justin Case and the Closet Monster is the story about two closeted gay men, Justin and Peter, who struggle to come to terms with who they are. Each man has closed the door on the possibility that he might be gay and made a pact with himself to never open it. Luckily for them, members of the Closet Monsters Guild - a legion of magical creatures that reside in a parallel dimension - are about to come along and open that door from the other side
A journey of faith, love, and family, this poignant story blends mythology, campy wit, and fantasy to show that while Justin’s path out of the closet has many hurdles, he learns that he is not alone in his quest to accept himself and find true love.
About the author
When I was younger I did not want to be gay. In fact, I tried very hard to be straight. I spent years in denial lying to myself, my friends and to my family. I hurt many people during my journey to self–acceptance. Among them a number of women to whom I tried to convince myself that I was attracted, and also a few men to whom I tried very hard to convince myself that I wasn’t.
Life in the closet is a very lonely place to be, a place full of regrets and missed opportunities. The thing that I regret most during that time in my life was my inability to confide my sexuality to my father. You see, my father suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and by the time I was ready to share with my family he was no longer able to understand me. My fear of being rejected kept me from sharing a big part of my life with him and he died believing that his son was alone without knowing that I had the capacity to give myself, in a loving union, to another person. He died without ever knowing that I found the love of my life, my husband Stacy, who accepts me and loves me for all that I am, just like the love my father found in my mother’s arms.
After I lost my father, I wrote Justin Case and The Closet Monster as a way to tell my dad all of the things that I lacked the courage to share with him when he was alive. Showcased in this website are the first 12 pages of a 170-page graphic novel reflecting a conversation that I would have loved to have had with my dad.
This story combines my love of mythology and fantasy, my reverence of my Catholic faith, and my unique sense of humour in order to recount the trials and tribulation one must navigate in order to complete one’s journey out of the closet. Although largely focused on two gay men, my graphic novel aims to be inclusive and it includes black, Asian, lesbian and “bear” characters. This work also reflects my desire to live my life in truth, and though it may not reflect everyone’s journey it does unflinchingly reflect my own.
As both author and illustrator, I believe that I have created a serious work that turns the monster-in-the-closet trope into a hilarious device for explaining the many ways in which people navigate the tension between private and public sexuality, external judgment and self-acceptance.
At its heart Justin Case and the Closet Monster is the story about two closeted gay men, Justin and Peter, who struggle to come to terms with who they are. Each man, coming from a different background, has closed the door on the possibility that he might be gay and made a pact with himself to never open it. Luckily for these men, members of The Closet Monster’s Guild – a legion of magical creatures that reside in a parallel dimension and are assigned to every gay and lesbian person at birth – are about to come along and open that door from the other side.
- First Printing ??? Copies, Published on July 2018