Nimona is a fantasy webcomic by the American comics writer and artist Noelle Stevenson. Stevenson started Nimona while a student at Maryland Institute College of Art. The webcomic was first published in June 2012 and doubled as Stevenson's senior thesis. Nimona was published in the form of a graphic novel by HarperCollins in 2015. An animated feature film adaptation, produced by Blue Sky Studios, is scheduled to be released on January 14, 2022.
Cover of the print edition
Conception and developmentEdit
Stevenson initially published Nimona on Tumblr. She was inspired to create Nimona's character based on her experiences with cosplay: Stevenson always preferred cosplaying as male characters rather than female characters and therefore wanted to create a female comics character that was more "butch". Nimona started off as a collection of one- and two-page comics. Because of this, the webcomic was somewhat experimental for Stevenson. Though she knew how the webcomic would end from the very start, she never expected the project to gain any wider recognition.
Nimona was released online as a webcomic beginning in June 2012. HarperCollins published the webcomic as a young adult graphic novel in May 2015. In August 2016, Stevenson published an audiobook version of Nimona through Audible.com. Featuring voicework by Rebecca Soler, Jonathan Davis, Marc Thompson, January LaVoy, Natalie Gold, Peter Bradbury, and David Pittu, the audiobook has a runtime of two hours and seventeen minutes and is entirely unabridged.
In June 2015, 20th Century Fox Animation acquired the rights for an animated feature film adaptation, with Patrick Osborne set to direct it and Marc Haimes and Max Werner set to write the script. The film will be produced by Blue Sky Studios. In June 2017, Fox scheduled Nimona to be released on February 14, 2020. In May 2019, after Disney's acquisition of Fox, the film was delayed to March 5, 2021. In November 2019, the film was delayed again to January 14, 2022. There have been no further announcements as of September 2020.
Nimona is set in a mash-up universe that combines fantasy and science fiction tropes. The titular character Nimona is a rambunctious young shapeshifter and the sidekick of the supervillain Lord Ballister Blackheart. Blackheart is a knight turned mad scientist who's pursued by his nemesis, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin of the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics. The first five chapters focus on the differences in outlook between Nimona and her by-the-book boss, as well as their plots against the secretly villainous Institution. On June 5, 2020, Noelle Stevenson described the comic, as a published novel, as simply about a "man's new assistant [who] doesn't care for his ex-boyfriend."
Nimona has been well received, with Slate awarding it the Cartoonist Studio Prize for being considered the "Best Web Comic of 2012". A blogger writing for Comic Book Resources compared Stevenson's artwork to that of Kate Beaton, Eleanor Davis and Faith Erin Hicks. Io9 commented that Nimona's "light, sketchy style" helped to set up the comic's tone and favorably compared it to the Venture Bros., as well as calling it one of the "Best New and Short Webcomics of 2012". Nimona was rated as the best webcomic of 2014 by Paste Magazine. Others described it as a comic which promotes an alternate perspective on gender. On September 11, 2020, Daniel Toy described Nimona on CNN's Underscored as a "modern fantasy epic" that will "delight teen readers." Scholar Mihaela Precup went further in her review. She noted that the mainstream publications which reviewed the comic did not note "any of the queer references," which describes as an "important part in the book’s positioning of monstrosity," and highlighted what called a "subversive potential of a specific kind of queer cuteness." Precup also stated that the queerness of Nimona is "mostly hinted at through linguistic markers," and noted in her fashion choices as well, while describing Nimona as a "cute monster girl" and saying that the book shows that violence is located in "institutions that control and persecute." Molly Clare Barnewitz focused on similar topics in her thesis on the topic. She described the comic as an example of the possibility of "reading comics through a queer lens," while noting that the story "evokes traditions of fairy tale and cyborg science fiction," focuses on shifting identity of Nimona and Ballister as they fight the over-controlling Institue, and says it breaks down "socially constructed binaries."
The Nimona graphic novel was nominated for a 2015 Eisner Award and was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Awards. It won the 2015 Cybils Award in the "Young Adult Graphic Novels" category.
- "HarperCollins picks up webcomic Nimona". Comics Beat. November 7, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- Thompson, Kelly (November 5, 2012). "She Has No Head! – "I'm a shark"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- Kroll, Justin (November 16, 2019). "Ridley Scott's 'The Last Duel' Gets the Greenlight as Disney Dates Multiple Titles". Variety. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
- "'Nimona' Shifts Shape And Takes Names — In Sensible Armor, Of Course". NPR. May 13, 2015.
- Kahn, Juliet (November 17, 2014). "We're Defining This New Wave Of Comics For Ourselves: A Conversation With Noelle Stevenson [Interview]". Comics Alliance. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015.
- "Art Blogger Noelle Stevenson Lands 2-Book Deal". CBC Books. November 9, 2012. Archived from the original on March 5, 2013.
- MacDonald, Heidi (November 7, 2012). "HarperCollins picks up webcomic Nimona". Comics Beat.
- Sims, Chris (August 26, 2016). "Noelle Stevenson Announces Full-Cast 'Nimona' Audiobook". ComicsAlliance.
- Kit, Borys (June 11, 2015). "Fox Animation Nabs 'Nimona' Adaptation With 'Feast' Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
- Riley, Jennel (February 9, 2017). "Oscar Winner Patrick Osborne Returns With First-Ever VR Nominee 'Pearl'". Variety. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
I’m working with Blue Sky Animation and Fox on “Nimona,...
- Couch, Aaron (June 30, 2017). "Fox Carves Out Dates for 6 Mystery Marvel Movies". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
- Lang, Brent; Rubin, Rebecca (May 7, 2019). "Disney Announces New 'Star Wars' Films, Moves 'Avatar' Sequels". Variety. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Wecht, Brian; Gray, Leighton; Stevenson, Noelle (August 14, 2020). "Episode 26: The Pudding Cup of My Brain (feat. Noelle Stevenson)". YouTube. Archived from the original on August 15, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2020. See 52:19-5:36 in this video for her words about the movie.
- Stevenson, Noelle [@Gingerhazing] (July 5, 2020). "Man's new assistant doesn't care for his ex-boyfriend" (Tweet). Archived from the original on July 7, 2020. Retrieved July 7, 2020 – via Twitter. She was responding to a post titled "Describe your own novel in as boring a way as possible."
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- Stoltzfus-Brown, Laura (May 26, 2015). "The Political Economy of the Mysteriously Missing Black Widow". The Mary Sue. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020.
- Toy, Daniel (September 11, 2020). "The best graphic novels for readers of all ages, from kids to adults". CNN. Archived from the original on September 11, 2020. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
- Precup, Mihaela (August 23, 2017). "To 'all the monster girls': violence and non-normativity in Noelle Stevenson's Nimona". Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. 8 (6): 550–559. doi:10.1080/21504857.2017.1361457. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
- Barnewitz, Molly Clare (September 12, 2020). The Animal as Queer Act in Comics: Queer Iterations in On Loving Women and Nimona (PDF) (Masters). University of Utah. pp. iii, 50–71. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
- "2015 Eisner Award Nominations". Comic-Con. 2015. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015.
- Dwyer, Colin (October 14, 2015). "Finalists Unveiled For This Year's National Book Awards". NPR. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
- Alverson, Brigid (February 15, 2016). "'Roller Girl,' 'Nimona' win Cybils awards". Comic Book Resources.
- Vermes, Timur (November 23, 2016). ""Das war lustig! Was machen wir jetzt?"". Spiegel Online.
- Official website, archived on the Wayback Machine
- Donahue, James J. (2020). "I'm Not a Kid. I'm a Shark!: Identity Fluidity in Noelle Stevenson's Young-Adult Graphic Novels". In Aldama, Frederick Luis (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Comic Book Studies (e-book). United States: Oxford Handbooks Online.