A romance on Netflix, yet another… While romantic series follow one another on the platform at the same rate as the flight of subscribers, Heartstopping, available this Friday, has raised a rare expectation. For weeks, it’s THE series everyone’s been talking about. Heartstopping is the webcomic adaptation of Alice Osman. After having success with his novels Lonely and Radio Silencethe young British author finally caught the attention of the streaming giant with Heartstopping.
If the story told in the comic strip is quite banal (Charlie likes Nick, except that Nick is straight), that of the release of the book is much less so. The author managed to publish her work by building the loyalty of a community of fans, from scratch. It’s through on crowdfunding, that she was able to raise the necessary funds for publication. The initial goal was to raise enough money to publish 500 copies. The objective has largely been achieved with today four volumes of the saga published, and distributed in tens of thousands of copies around the world.
A success long before Netflix
The author’s career was well launched with her old novels, which nevertheless did not make much noise in France. “It was followed by a lot of young adults in the United States, but not very much in France,” says Michael Mathieu, bookseller at the Librairie de Paris. the adventure Heartstopping started online on the Tapas app, a web comics platform. Michael Mathieu says that the pace of publication also made the success of Heartstopping: “There were only 4-5 boards per month, it was very slow. We had to wait between each episode, each twist in the plot, and the fans naturally talked about it among themselves… ”Word of mouth did the rest.
“The Booktok (literary Tik Tok) and literary influencers talked about it and it led to a new rebound in sales. After a new call for contributions, the comic was published in hard copy, followed by resounding success abroad, especially in France when the comic was translated there.
The release of the adventures of Nick and Charlie in series obviously had a marketing effect on the sales of the book. Fans of fiction like Michael Mathieu are eager to discover the series. And a little worried. If the filmed version seems rather faithful to the boards of the author, a notable difference had made the fans react: the absence of Aled, a very popular character. Alice Oseman was quick to reassure her fans that the new character will be just as interesting.
What fans expect above all is that the touching relationship between Nick and Charlie be perfectly transcribed on the screen. If the series addresses contemporary themes such as biphobia, forced coming-out or even anorexia, it is the love story between Nick, the rugby player and Charlie the musician, who does all the salt of Heartstopping. Much more than a meeting between two boys with different sexualities, it is also the confrontation between worlds: that of slightly marginal artists and that of popular sportsmen.
Charlie, who is openly gay, develops feelings for Nick that he prefers to bury to preserve their friendship and because he knows he is heterosexual. However, “the rugby player with the sunny smile” will be confronted with the quest for identity in adolescence, which involves curiosity and questioning about sexuality. Will the fragile subtlety at work in the pages of Alice Oseman survive the Netflix machine? Answer this Friday.