Pixels of You
Author: Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota
Illustrator: J.R. Doyle
Published February 8, 2022
Summary: A human and human-presenting AI slowly become friends—and maybe more—in this moving YA graphic novel.
In a near future, augmentation and AI changed everything and nothing. Indira is a human girl who has been cybernetically augmented after a tragic accident, and Fawn is one of the first human-presenting AI. They have the same internship at a gallery, but neither thinks much of the other’s photography. But after a huge public blowout, their mentor gives them an ultimatum: work together on a project or leave her gallery forever. Grudgingly, the two begin to collaborate, and what comes out of it is astounding and revealing for both of them. Pixels of You is about the slow transformation of a rivalry to a friendship to something more as Indira and Fawn navigate each other, the world around them—and what it means to be an artist and a person.
“Ultimately a short but sweet story about two girls slowly falling in love. . .The art, however, is striking, with bold, stark colors; plays on light and dark; and disrupted frames depicting photos and extending emotional moments.”
“The robot/human relationship serves as a reflection on managing cultural alienation, and the girls’ chemistry is well developed, building to a surprising, sweet conclusion. Hirsh and Ota’s story is a combination of broad narrative strokes and intimate moments, and Doyle’s manga-inspired, deliciously purple and pink illustrations float with ease through a near-future New York.”
School Library Journal
About the Creators: Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota are the Ignus Award winning team behind Lucky Penny, which won a Cybil Award, was a JLG selection, and received a starred review from PW. They live in Brooklyn. J.R. Doyle is an up-and-coming artist, creator of Knights-Errant, a successful web comic and Kickstarter project. They live in Brooklyn.
Review: This short but impactful graphic novel hits on so much! It is an interesting look at where our world may be going when it comes to AI and humans living side by side. It can be taken on the surface for what it is: a human dealing with the rise of AI and her own inclusion of an eye transplant and a human-presenting AI who is dealing with not fitting in anywhere. But it can also be discussed within the context of identity in general. There is one point where Fawn is trying to prove herself to Indira when two robot-presenting AI tell her that she isn’t better than them. This can definitely tie into so many trying to find their place when they are in between worlds.
I will say, my one criticism is actually what also may be one of its strengths: its length. I felt like there was so much unanswered in the story, specifically in the world building, but maybe we’ll have more in the future!
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: In addition to finding love from your sci-fi graphic novel fans, I’d love to see the premise for this world to be used as a creative writing prompt or even an exploratory essay about how the students would take the world or the commentary throughout that discusses bias could be used as a short research project or expository essay. Additionally, there are great aspects throughout that talk about photography, such as lighting, exposure, and setting.
- Why is Indira haunted by AI in her dreams?
- What did Indira originally think about Fawn?
- How does Fawn not fit in anywhere? How does that make her feel?
- In the future, do you think AI and humans will be seen as equals?
- How does photography bring Fawn and Indira together?
- What did Indira realize after meeting Fawn’s parents?
- Why does Fawn call her parents her parents even though AI wouldn’t have parents?
Read This If You Love: Science fiction, graphic novels, Isaac Asimov’s robot short stories
**Thank you to Media Masters Publicity for providing a copy for review!**