“The Li’l Depressed Boy is about a stuffed ragdoll who falls in love with a punk rock girl.” Artist Sina Grace’s explanation of his and writer S. Steven Struble’s Image book seems to be enough to get its hooks into potential readers, drawing enough interest to sell out its first issue back in February.
The unconventional indie romantic comedy takes its cues from films like (500) Days of Summer, while delving into Struble and Grace’s love of music. On this latter point, the two creators have used LDB as a chance to get cameos from some of their favorite bands into the book, in and around the story of the main character’s quest to woo his punk rock dream girl.
The main character is just what the title says: a diminutive depressed male with emotional issues. And he happens to be made of cloth. The character got his start in Struble’s webcomic of the same name back in 2005, cycling through a variety of artists, colored in blue tones, and following more or less the same thread as the print incarnation in the no-success love life of LDB. In its web incarnation, the strip had contributions from artists as diverse as Sam Kieth, Jamie McKelvie, and Jim Mahfood.
Grace was a frequent contributor to the strip and became the regular artist in 2008. Later, he was enlisted by Struble to bring the character to print, with the book finally landing at Image, where it sheds its blue-tone color scheme for full color. “I don’t know if it was because of me, but he [Struble] made the decision to put it in full color” notes Grace.
It seems the new format is drawing in audiences, earning the book both critical and sales success. The Li’l Depressed Boy is on shelves now, but you can check out a preview of The Li’l Depressed Boy #4 below.