Cover image for Flocks / L. Nichols.
Flocks / L. Nichols.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Secret Acres, [2018]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 22 cm
This book charts the author's experiences of growing up in a Christian household and community, realizing she's gay and her subsequent struggle to reconcile her faith with her sexuality.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
NIC Graphic Novel Teen Graphic Novels
NIC Graphic Novel Adult Graphic Novels

On Order



L. Nichols, a trans man, artist, engineer and father of two, was born in rural Louisiana, assigned female and raised by conservative Christians. Flocks is his memoir of that childhood, and of his family, friends and community, the flocks of Flocks, that shaped and re-shaped him. L.'s irresistibly charming drawings demonstrate what makes Flocks so special: L.'s boundless empathy.

Author Notes

L. Nichols was born and raised in rural southwest Louisiana and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master's degree in Media Arts and Sciences, both from MIT. L. has a unique voice that utilizes the language of science and engineering to add an additional layer of meaning and complexity to his work. Nichols also incorporates elements of comics to turn his paintings into broader narrative forms. L. lives and works as an illustrator, comic artist, graphic designer, educator and sometime blacksmith with his wife and their two children in New York's Hudson Valley. He has been published in over a dozen comics and art books.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

This moving, skillfully wrought coming-of-age graphic memoir shares Nichols's struggle to integrate his queer identity with a devout Southern Baptist upbringing: "No matter how hard I tried, I never heard 'me' when they said 'we.'" Nichols, who is targeted as a lesbian while growing up ("I heard she's a dyke") and now identifies as a transgender man, first presented these stories in a series of pamphlet comics. Throughout the narrative, Nichols depicts himself as a button-eyed rag doll, perpetually set apart from "normal" family and peers, developing same-sex crushes while still attempting to reconcile his religious faith with the virulently anti-LGBTQ messages baked into the culture: "Instead of questioning the church's teachings, I threw myself even further in." Nichols is a talented artist, often utilizing symbology (such as the arrows that point at him whenever he feels his secrets have been exposed) in almost incantatory fashion. Over time, Nichols establishes his own flock of family and community as a fully integrated person. Written and drawn with equal parts raw honesty and a wide-open heart, this lovely full-color book should have crossover appeal for younger readers, middle school and up, opening up the experience of any reader challenged by their gender identity, sexuality, and/or conflicting religious beliefs. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.