Herein we have the finale of the Charlie/Nick happy times story (spoiler alert: they get together). This takes us through the second part of the TV series [from after the kiss to when Nick comes out to
The Queen his mom].
Much has been written about Heartstoppers being part of the “next generation” of mainstream queer stories–in a nutshell, these are stories not about coming out as queer, but about what happens afterwards. There are century if not millennia of stories about heterosexual relationships, with all sorts of endings: happy, sad, bittersweet, angry, you name it. You don’t need to seek out romance to be able to name hetero stories that fall into each of these categories (I have never seen Titanic and I know how it ends).
So the point here is, mainstream queer stories that focus on the happy bits. Not “well filmmakers (queer and not) have been making movies for ages have you never heard of [x] or [y]?” More “turn on Netflix and this is the first thing that you see, it’s inescapable.” And hey, I fall firmly into that category. I was not going to watch this show at all, except that it was on my Netflix front page and I was looking for something short after finishing Sex Education.
Again I’ve spent all this time talking about the TV show. But again, these comics deserve all the credit for bringing these characters to life with a handful of strokes. Everything isn’t happy in this world, but the unhappiness comes from the natural ebb and flow of teenage life. And at no point is there any strife from adults in anyone’s life. There are hints of the larger issues that still exist in Charlie’s life even after he’s gotten the boy–but for now, we can read this comic happily.