Titled Add Your Own Colors To The Rainbow!, the LGBTI-themed coloring book is fun for people of all ages. The 36-page book by Labelle and various guest artists teaches gender diversity, sexual orientations, sexual diversity, and more.
GSN spoke with Montreal-based Labelle about this new coloring book and what inspired her to create it.
Labelle began to draw comics at age 7, when her brother and his best friend started a comic club.
‘I was soon the most prolific member of that club, and I became known at our school as “the one that draws these comics,”’ she recalls.
‘Adults encouraged me in that behavior, as comics were heavily masculine-coded and I had a severe case of The Genders. I guess it kind of soothed them to see me draw comics.’
Love of coloring
Labelle has been publishing coloring books way before she even began the popular Assigned Male comic series.
‘I started creating them while working for an after-school program and kids wanted me to draw stuff they could color,’ she says. ‘I naturally wanted them to be as inclusive as possible.’
‘Since there was so few resources to use at school to talk about gender and transness back then, a lot of people were interested, and I just kept making them, adding stuff and themes throughout the years!’
‘I love how playful coloring is,’ Labelle says. ‘It is a very powerful way to think about issues through play and to inspire great discussions with people of all ages.’
‘Putting together “Add your own colors to the rainbow!” has been an amazing experience, especially considering that I’ve been working in collaboration with ten other trans cartoonists,’ Labelle says. ‘I wrote the text and invited these ten artists to pick any page they wanted to illustrate amongst the thirty. I really loved to have the chance to work with other artists that I admire.’
In terms of feedback on the coloring book and her comics in general, Labelle says it’s been overwhelmingly positive.
‘I’m really glad to have an audience willing to follow me as I explore subjects that are dear to me, allowing me to grow as an artist,’ she says. ‘I faced a good share of harassment and have a few stalkers, which I like to use whenever I’m running out of inspiration.’
In February, Labelle plans to release the first volume of her youth novel series in French. Based on her comics, Labelle is incredibly excited about this project.
“It’s a pretty big deal for me since I’ve been wanting to explore my characters’ stories and personalities a bit deeper, which is something the webcomic format doesn’t really allow,’ she explains.
The launch date for the English version should be announced soon, according to Labelle.
By and for trans people
‘My first goal has always been to entertain trans people themselves by creating content they can relate to,’ Labelle states. ‘I know so many of us who work day and night for justice and liberation, free and unrecognized work, and I hope my humble work can relieve some people through providing a laughter or some tools. I hope you have fun with my comics or my coloring book!’
Add Your Own Colors To The Rainbow! is available in English, French, and Finnish on Labelle’s Etsy shop.