BONDING is a book about two people who fall in love. It just happens that in this world, humans are made to "bond" with these strange alien-like parasites that hang onto the front of their chests like leeches or weird sea slugs. Your health/emotions/preferences/tastes can be reflected in the way your slug looks.
In addition to its love story, Bonding also touches on mental health, self-perception, anxiety and other topics relevant to teen readers, as all of these thoughts and emotions are displayed through a person’s slug for everyone to see. “We want to give readers an avenue to have conversations about emotions, fears, love and what it’s like to put yourself out there,” said Kim McLean, Vault Comics’ Director of Marketing, in a statement. “What better way than to ask that they put themselves in the shoes of the book’s characters and try to choose a slug?”
“People engage with a story because they can see themselves as a part of it; as one of the characters, or existing in that world. This campaign lets them actively get involved and become part of a larger community,” says McLean.
Vault is hoping to get people excited about this form of self-expression by sharing what their slug could look like. Be creative! Using the templates provided online as a starting point, everyone from young readers to the young-at-heart can design their own slug and submit it by taking a picture of their artwork and filling out an online form. Submissions will be shared in an online gallery, and a few may be selected to appear in the book itself.
Paste Magazine picked up an exclusive first look at Chapter 0, a prequel to the Bonding story.