Content warning: This essay discusses dysphoria, eating disorders, and suicide.

“Unraveling,” by me, 2020.

When I was 14, I experienced what I can only describe as a complete unspooling of my own identity. My friendships fell apart, I lost interest in things I previously enjoyed, and I couldn’t explain why except that something about me was just wrong. I remember lying on my carpet for hours on end late at night, staring up at the ceiling and just wishing to feel anything other than whatever this was. Unable to escape this feeling, I internalized it as a ruthless self-hatred. I was viciously critical of…


I should preface this with the disclaimer that some sources credit me as a co-illustrator of this book, and while I admit Jonathan Hill hired me to do some editorial work including art cleanup, any part I had in Odessa’s creation was entirely in service of his vision. I’m writing this book from the perspective of a fan of Hill’s work and of good comics in general. I will not benefit in any way from Odessa’s success aside from the satisfaction of seeing a good thing get the recognition it deserves.

That said, Odessa is really, really good. It’s coming…

Xan Drake

Xan is a transgender illustrator and game designer with a passion for collaboration and storytelling.

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