Rom-Coms Get Sci-Fi Makeover in 'A Boy and a Girl'

The course of true love runs even less smoothly than usual in the new graphic novel from "Thrilling Adventure Hour" and "It Girl" creators.
Natalie Nourigat/Oni Press
The course of true love runs even less smoothly than usual in the new graphic novel from "Thrilling Adventure Hour" and "It Girl" creators.

We've all heard this story before: Boy meets girl, girl reveals she has 24 hours before she's shipped off to an unknown part of the world as part of a government program, complications ensue. Okay, perhaps it's not that familiar a story -- and that's even before you get to the near-future setting or organized crime and robotic society elements of A Boy and a Girl, a forthcoming graphic novel from Jamie S. Rich and Natalie Nourigat.

The new science-fiction romantic comedy revolves around Travis and Charley, two characters in their mid-20s who are looking for something more from life, even if they're not quite sure what that is. If that setup sounds familiar, that's intentional -- in part because of the ways in which Rich and Nourigat play with expectations as their story unfolds. "Natalie and I were both sick of slacker characters, young people being shown as not doing anything because they have no ambition," Rich explained. "We thought it would be far more interesting to show characters who really want to do something and are on the cusp of life, even if they aren’t sure what is going to happen next."

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Such a push against expectations means that Charley is more than just the traditional Manic Pixie Dream Girl favored in romantic comedies, according to Nourigat, whose recent work includes art for the Thrilling Adventure Hour graphic novel. "It was important to both of us that Charley be a confident, self-assured woman, and that she not be the antidote to Travis’ confusion," she said. "They share a common goal, when it all comes down to it. Which is probably why they fall in love with each other."

A Boy and a Girl is just one of a number of upcoming projects from Rich, a former editor for Oni Press and Dark Horse Comics who has previously written the superhero series It Girl and the Atomics and modern noir You Have Killed Me. Tomorrow sees the debut of another, The Double Life of Miranda Turner, a digital comic collaboration with artist George Kambadais that mixes superheroes, the supernatural and the pressures of living up to familial expectations.

A Boy and a Girl will be published by Oni Press this December.