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Transformed Is the Magical Trans Boy Comic We've Been Waiting For

'Transformed' Is the Magical Trans Boy Comic We've Been Waiting For

'Transformed' Is the Magical Trans Boy Comic We've Been Waiting For

Fighting gender dysmorphia by moonlight, winning love by daylight. 

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For Al Neun, the best part about making his comic, Transformed, is the connections he makes with others. His biggest inspiration? "I figured that if people liked it I could make more," he said. "And after seeing other trans people's faces when they first saw my comic at conventions, I don't think I could resist making more!"

And how could you not be grinning while reading Transformed, a comic that blends magical girl fantasy with the very real battle of gender identity. Kay, a trans man just beginning to explore his gender identity, discovers a ring that transforms his body to match his insides...but also bring super powers and the annoying habit of monsters attacking him wherever he goes. (Nothing’s ever as easy as it seems!)

Neun, a trans man himself, was inspired to start the comic by his love of classic magical girl stories like Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura. Transformed juxtaposes those stories with his own life experiences.

"I feel like a big part of magical girl stories is about finding empowerment in parts of yourself that other people don't always respect," Neun said. "As a young trans guy who really enjoyed magical girl stories growing up, I felt really self conscious about liking something not super masculine! So in the same way stories like Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon can make young girls find strength in being cute, I wanted to make a story that helps trans people find strength in their gender identity—and maybe feel a little less worried that there's a place in the world for trans guys who like sparkles.”

Neun finds the comic, and other projects they work on, help connect him to his identity and comics. His zine, Binding, has been recommended to clients by Shapeshifters, Inc. Their work includes stylish pronoun buttons and illustrations exploring trans masculine body positivity. 

"I end up thinking less about how to make a marketable product and more about what kind of things would make me or people I know happy."

And what does Neun hope people take from his story?

"Inspiration to grab a pencil and tell their own stories about queer characters! We're an incredibly varied community and we deserve to see that represented on the page. And I want to read those stories, dang it!!"

You can follow Neun on Instagram, @AlNeunArt, and on Tumblr! And to see more of his work and products, check out his official website!

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Terra Necessary

Terra Necessary is an artist, teacher, giant nerd, and probably an alien. She lives with her wife and too many kittens right outside of Denver when she isn’t traveling around the US peddling art with the Atomic Pixies, her comic collective.

Terra Necessary is an artist, teacher, giant nerd, and probably an alien. She lives with her wife and too many kittens right outside of Denver when she isn’t traveling around the US peddling art with the Atomic Pixies, her comic collective.