“Bousamra skillfully renders expressive and visually distinct characters, employing bright and cheerful coloring in pastel hues to sweetly capture touching moments.” ― Publishers Weekly, starred review

Rose Bousamra is an experienced comics professional, specializing in illustration and graphic novels for kids and young adults. Their first graphic novel, Frizzy, written by Claribel A. Ortega and published with First Second Books, earned a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, the Pura Belpre award for Children’s Text, an Eisner Award nomination (Best Publication for Kids), and five starred reviews.

Ever since they could hold a pencil, Rose has been trying to replicate the magic they felt from fantasy stories like Princess Mononoke, The Little Mermaid, and The Lord of the Rings. From this fascination sprouted a profound love of art, storytelling, and graphic novels. Now Rose is working on their solo debut fantasy graphic novel, Gutless, featuring a wooden knight who escapes a life of subjugation to learn what it means to be truly alive. It uses classic storybook visuals to explore themes of queerness, isolation, forgiveness, and healing through community.

In their spare time they can be found roaming around in nature, haunting cafes with the best espresso, or playing the latest fantasy RPG video game. They are based in southeast Michigan with their wife, their tiny dog and two old cats.

Rose's Featured Titles


First Second |

Winner of the 2023 Pura Belpré Award for Children’s Text
October 2022 Indie Bestseller

New York Times-bestselling author Claribel A. Ortega and star debut artist Rose Bousamra’s Frizzy is about Marlene, a young Dominican girl whose greatest enemy is the hair salon! Through her struggles and triumphs, this heartwarming and gorgeous middle-grade graphic novel shows the radical power of accepting yourself as you are, frizzy curls and all.

Marlene loves three things: books, her cool Tía Ruby and hanging out with her best friend Camila. But according to her mother, Paola, the only thing she needs to focus on is school and “growing up.” That means straightening her hair every weekend so she could have “presentable”, “good hair”.

But Marlene hates being in the salon and doesn’t understand why her curls are not considered pretty by those around her. With a few hiccups, a dash of embarrassment, and the much-needed help of Camila and Tia Ruby―she slowly starts a journey to learn to appreciate and proudly wear her curly hair.


How I Became an Illustrator and Graphic Novelist

I speak about my professional journey, from teaching myself to draw as a child, to studying in London, to my journey through (and almost failing) fashion school, to pitching my first graphic novel, and so on! I describe what you can expect as a working artist, long term and short term goals, and finding inspiration and motivation.


Making a Graphic Novel

I talk through my process of making a graphic novel, as well as general information on the craft and history of comics. I’ve worked on teams, as well as writing my own solo graphic novel and I speak on both experiences. I show my artistic process, all the way from gathering story inspiration, to writing the story, to sketching, inking, and completing a comic page.


Comic Workshop: Emotion & Energy

I speak about my approach to expressing emotion and energy through visuals to tell a story, and the importance each element plays in telling a story effectively. Together we will brainstorm and create a four page comic, regardless of skill level, where we can apply what we’ve learned and tell a story of our own.

Rose’s Illustrations

Rose’s Sequential Art Link

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Pura Belpre Award
JLG Gold Standard Selection
Kirkus Starred Review
Indie Bestseller
Eisner Award Nominee

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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