Magical Boy is a Tapas Studios Original webcomic by comic creator The Kao, the pen name of Vincent Kao, who also created the web series Mondo Mango. Tapas Media is a Korea-based, creator-driven digital channel featuring short-form storytelling, and has already distributed 30 episodes of the webcomic, which Scholastic will now adapt into a graphic novel, Magical Boy, for publication later this year.
Debra Dorfman, Scholastic VP and Publisher – Global Licensing, Media and Brands told Publisher's Weekly that "We had been talking to Tapas about different opportunities and we loved this story so much. The character is so special, and the webcomic has a great positive message about acceptance, adventure, and being who you are. It's the first licensed property for us with a transgender protagonist. It also felt very nostalgic in a way."
Tapas describe the comic thus;
Max is your average high school student trying to get through life as himself. He may not be your average boy, being assigned female at birth, but he's set on being the man he is. Though, trying to come out to his parents is one thing, his mom coming out as a Magical Girl is another. Now it is Max's responsibility to take on the family tradition of becoming the next Magical Girl and save humanity.
While the introduction from The Kao reads;
Magical Boy is a story that I've been wanting to tell for a long time.
I wanted to create a story about a hero who embarks on a messy, funny, difficult, outrageous, and ultimately rewarding journey, and I wanted that hero to be someone that all readers–but especially transmen–can cheer on and relate to.
He's a teen who's still going through the messy process of figuring out who he is as a person in many aspects. Like any good story, there will be conflict. There will be times when Max faces hardships and obstacles to his transition, and some of those will be from Max's own internal struggles as well.
There are people in his life who won't understand him, and there will be times when he doubts himself. I know that Magical Boy will be tough for some to read at times. I wanted to create a story that is authentic and true to the experiences that many transmen have faced, but please don't doubt that I have the best intentions for Max.
I know that Magical Boy can't be representative of every transman's experience, but I hope that you'll find his journey of self discovery and overcoming this fictional obstacle of his magical girl lineage to be fun, compelling, and genuine. Max is a character that I hold close to my heart, and I hope that you'll hold him close to yours too.
The Kao was represented by Tapas, who was represented by Liz Parker at the Verve Talent & Literary agency.
Scholastic Corporation is an American multinational publishing, education and media company that publishes and distributes comics, books and educational materials for schools, parents and children. Its books are distributed through retail and online sales and through schools via reading clubs and fairs, and its comic book line Scholastic Graphix has helped to make Scholastic the biggest comic book publisher in North America.