Ronan and the Endless Sea of Stars: An Excerpt - Mutha Magazine


Published on November 15th, 2023 | by Rick Louis and Lara Antal


Ronan and the Endless Sea of Stars: An Excerpt

Ronan and the Endless Sea of Stars, a graphic memoir written by Rick Louis and drawn by Lara Antal, recounts one parent’s unique and wrenching journey caring for a child with a terminal diagnosis.

RICK: I remember Ronan’s mom telling me once that she felt his loss so viscerally because he grew inside her. The fact that we were having different experiences as parents ends up being a key part of the story. One of the big challenges for me was depicting how my parenting experience overlapped and contrasted with hers—but without presuming to speak for her or tell her story. I hope we achieved that balance!

LARA: As a child-free person bringing a story about parenthood to life, I tried to proceed with respect and deference, but as my collaboration with Rick continued, I grew less afraid that I would break something “fragile” and began to lean into my instincts. I’ve been told there is a similar process in parenthood: letting go of preciousness, proceeding despite fear. Since Ronan‘s publication, I’ve received beautiful feedback from readers. A father shared how our story helped him love his son more, especially during the most difficult months of his infancy. A child-free queer man said the book contained information about love he had never heard elsewhere, and that it had already helped him deal with a personal heartbreak. Moments like these keep me making art; the joy of what I do is using stories to help people connect to human experiences different from their own.

This excerpt from Ronan and the Endless Sea of Stars is reprinted by permission of Abrams ComicArts

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About the Author

Rick Louis was born in New York City and raised by Star Trek. After college and a year on the road as a circus roustabout, he managed to get a couple of plays produced off-off-Broadway. Relocating to Los Angeles, he worked as a writer on movie scripts and sketch comedy. As a tattooed vegan on a bike, he eventually moved to Portland, Oregon, where he lives to this day, working as a freelance writer and editor.

Lara Antal (she/they) is an artist who loves black humor, black coffee, and colorful characters. Their debut graphic novel, Ronan and the Endless Sea of Stars, won the 2023 Graphic Medicine Award and was nominated for the 2023 Ringo Comic Awards. Their clients include The Washington Post, Google, and Dotdash-Meredith, and they’ve been featured in The Wall Street Journal, WNYC-NPR, Kirkus, and more. If you dine in NYC you might see one of their infamous Choking Victim posters. They are also a creative producer on the Witch Wave Podcast, hosted by Pam Grossman. Hailing from Wisconsin, they currently live in Brooklyn with their almost-toothless chihuahua, Chuck.

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