Sina Grace is having quite a year. In 2022, the writer contributed to the Superman: Kal-El Returns Special, putting his own mark on the Man of Steel mythos. His hilarious duo of Rockstar and Softboy returned in Rockstar and Softboy Go to Space from Image Comics just hit trade paperback, a book for which he also provided art. And this fall, his original graphic novel Superman: The Harvests of Youth sees him revisit the Man of Tomorrow, but when he was just a teen in Smallville, trying to figure things out. Whatever character Grace tackles, you can be sure it’ll have heart at its center.

I had the opportunity to speak with Sina Grace back in the winter about the idea behind Rockstar and Softboy Go to Space, the basis of the titular heroes, and why the series resonates with readers.


FS: Your book Rockstar and Softboy is wonderful. It’s your first time writing and drawing a project in some time. Why was this one the right project to do that?

SG: I’ve been hankering to try out self-contained one-shots for a while now, and none of the random ideas I had before RS&SB ever really gained momentum. Not since the Burn the Orphanage series I did with Daniel Freedman have I had the “this is right” feeling on a new idea. As a creator, I always have to follow that feeling, because that’s when I know I’m telling the story I need to be telling. Aspects of making a comic can be frustrating or feel like a puzzle, but those should be the details- the core tenets need to feel crystal clear to me.

FS: What can you tell us about the eponymous Rockstar and Softboy?

SG: Rockstar and Softboy are the latest and greatest odd couple pop culture’s been craving. Rockstar is a musician who likes to live it out, and Softboy works in games and definitely is the type to have a thicc retirement. They’re gay BFF who are ride-or-die for each other, and because the pair live in a world full of magic, monsters, and mayhem(!), sometimes their hijinx really do lead to life or death situations.


FS: You’ve said you made the book for your friends. Can you elaborate a bit on that?

SG: The whole project is a love letter to fellow comics writer Josh Trujillo. He referred to us as a rockstar and softboy (respectively) when we both lost on opposite ends of the DC Comics pitch competition, Round Robin… that triggered the concept. While LEGALLY Josh and I are not the characters, the story is rooted in so many core things we’ve dealt with as friends. Also, I was getting tired of me and my friends saying who’s the Abbi and who’s the Ilana, or Lucy and Ethel, or Romy and Michele… I wanted to put a gay male equivalent on the table.

FS: It was announced this summer that another installment of their adventures hits next year! Congratulations! Where do we find the duo in Rockstar and Softboy Go to Space?

SG: Rockstar and Softboy end up dating fraternal twins the Venue BrothersPeter and Paul Venue. They own like ALL of the venues. Rockstar and Softboy’s lives seem perfect until they get dumped, and find themselves iced out of every single venue. Not knowing what to do, they pack their bags and head to outer space, where they run into a whole other set of complications and adventures. I was really excited to strip these two of their mojo and see how the theme of friendship shines in that darkness. The Club Q shooting ended up coloring my end goal with the story. What is the value of our spaces, and what happens when they’re no longer available to us?

FS: While comics are making strides in representation, there’s still a bit of a ways to go. That’s why it’s so heartening to see the characters you’ve created to exist and be so fully formed. Representation is something I’ve been bringing up in my History Through Film class again and again and how important it is that we all get to see ourselves in some form.

SG: I think it speaks to why Rockstar and Softboy resonated with a lot of readers: I got to explore queer joy and friendship without the hindrance of any one character needing to represent an entire community. There doesn’t seem to be much room for tokenism when telling a story from the heart (and the funny bone).


FS: Do you have more tales planned for Rockstar and Softboy stewing in the back of your mind?

SG: I’m already scared that this next one-shot will be overstaying my welcome, so it’s a wait-and-see type of thing. I did a four-page origin zine of their somewhat roommate Miaow Miaow (a girl who morphs into a cat and chain smokes menthols), and I had a short story about them morphing into each other’s “type” for Image’s anthology book. Their world is a fun one to live in, so I would be thrilled to keep coming up with zany-but-grounded adventures for them.

FS: Are there any other projects you’d like to talk about and promote?

SG: I just wanna see if anyone’s still reading… if you haven’t grabbed the Jem & the Holograms 20/20 one-shot I did a few years ago with Siobhan Keenan, go grab it on kindle or Apple Books! I revisited that story recently, and I still think it frickin’ slaps.

The Rockstar and Softboy Go to Space TPB is on sale now from Image Comics.

From the official description of Rockstar and Softboy Go to Space:

The dirtiest, flirtiest BFFs in comics are back, and holy moly are they in dire straits! After getting brutally rebuffed by the most influential dudes in Lost Angeles, Rockstar and Softboy pack their bags and GO TO SPACE. Acclaimed creator SINA GRACE revisits the 2022 fan-favorite comic for more hijinx than ever before! How, a world away from the world, can these two get into more trouble and learn more about their exquisite friendship!? Only one way to find out!