In Loving Memory of My Dad

In 2005, I lost my father, Raymond Julien, to Alzheimer’s disease. My middle name is Raymond, after my dad, although everybody knew him as Ray. The original comic strips that grew into my debut graphic novel Justin Case and the Closet Monster: Hope were certainly born out of grief and of lost opportunity.

My dad had been in the fog of his disease for years before I had the chance to be able to share my truth with him. I wrote the book as a conversation I wanted to be able to have with him, and I felt his presence as I created the fantastical world in which I could finally tell my coming out story through my twin avatars of Justin Case and his Closet Monster.

As an extra special tribute to my dad, I created a new image series not found in the book that are actually me and reflect my story as I envisioned and then wrote the book.