ONI Press to release Matthias Lehmann’s celebrated historical LGBTQ+ German graphic novel PARALLEL (June 2023)

The following appeared on THE BEAT. We are republishing here. The original news release, written by Dean Simons, can be found here.

Oni Press have announced today that they will be releasing the English translation of Matthias Lehmann‘s graphic novel Parallel, originally published in German, in June. Translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger, the 458-page softcover book will simultaneously release June 13 to digital and physical retailers, priced $29.99.

Here’s how Oni Press describes the book:

“Taking place between the end of World War II and the 1980s, Parallel chronicles Karl Kling’s efforts to comply with social norms in order to keep his sexuality a secret. It also paints a picture of a life torn between conformity and rebellion, and the cruel realities of twentieth-century German society, where homosexuality was proscribed and punishable until 1994. Matthias Lehmann poignantly depicts the story of a decades-long yearning to live an open and free life, and the price Karl and those he loves paid for it. It is also a story of finding the courage to finally tell the truth no matter the obstacles . . . or the cost.”

Going further into the background of the book’s story, Oni added:

“Lehmann deftly explores his own complicated family history—a relative who lived with the complexities of being gay at a time when queer relationships were forbidden. Parallel examines a life torn between longing for a family and simultaneous desire for gay love in 1950s Germany.”

Parallel was originally released in October 2021 by German publisher Reprodukt and received significant acclaim – becoming a finalist in the German Inclusive Independent Comic Award (GINCO) for best print work in 2022, and a French translation was also released that same year.

Lehmann is a part of Germany’s independent and alternative comics scene. He contributes to anthologies and publishes his own zines. An earlier version of Parallel made him a finalist for the Berthold Leibinger Foundation’s Comic Book Prize in 2018. In 2019 he won the Short Form GINCO prize for Wilhelm will ans Meer [tr. Wilhelm wants to go to the Sea] which was published in the JAZAM! anthology, which he is a regular contributor.