Meet the cast of Turtle Bread - the debut graphic novel from The Great British Bake Off's Kim-Joy

Jan on the cover of Turtle Bread.
(Image credit: Comixology Originals)

A young woman learns to come out of her shell in Turtle Bread, the debut graphic novel written by The Great British Bake Off finalist Kim-Joy and drawn by Alti Firmansyah.

Part manga, part practical recipe book, Turtle Bread is the story of Yan. Out of work and struggling with social anxiety, she plucks up the courage to join a local baking club. As she gets to know her new friends, she comes to realize that they are all struggling in different ways.

We've got an exclusive look at Alti Firmansyah's character designs for the book as well as some mini-bios for the characters written by Kim-Joy herself.

Jan from Turtle Bread

(Image credit: Comixology Originals)


Yan has social anxiety, no friends, and no job. She was bullied in school and struggles at home, and as a result she's very self-critical and has low self-esteem. The one thing she does love is baking - but she has no one to share this passion with. Until one day, on her way home from another unsuccessful interview, Yan comes across the Baking Club… Yan looks up to Bea and learns from her; she admires Amit's laidback confidence and tries to emulate his behaviour; she feels at ease with Zara due to their shared interest in baking and both being very self-critical; and through helping Geraint she helps herself…

Bea from Turtle Bread

(Image credit: Comixology Originals)


On the surface, Bea seems like a free spirit: she doesn't take life too seriously, doesn't care what others think of her, and will joke about and take any opportunity to dance whilst baking. She is also extremely wise, sure of herself, and an inspiration for Yan. But as the story progresses, you start to realise how Bea isn't just the whimsical and wise person she presents; she has her own armour on. Bea has a difficult past that she hasn't come to terms with yet, and her fear of letting others in keeps her alone in her pain… well, that is until she starts Baking Club and triggers a cascade of events…

Amit from Turtle Bread

(Image credit: Comixology Originals)


Amit shares a lot in common with Bea. They both put on a 'front', except Amit has very specific and strong defense mechanisms due the societal pressure on men to not cry or show emotion, and in particular the kinds of jobs he has worked in the past. They both want to help others, but express this in different ways. Amit will get enraged on behalf of his friends and is not concerned about hiding it. Due to their similarities, Amit and Bea 'click' and have an innate sense about each other's vulnerabilities. When Bea goes missing, Amit is the one who instantly knows that things aren't right. Similarly, there are signs that Bea has an inkling about Amit's issues. Amit feels safest when he is teasing the others, playing the joker and just generally acting nonplussed. He appears to be the image of confidence and at total ease with himself. But Amit has PTSD from experiences when he worked in a prison, and will do anything he can to avoid feeling like a burden on his wife, children and the people around him…

Zara from Turtle Bread

(Image credit: Comixology Originals)


Zara is 30 and lives with her large extended Syrian family. They are proud and value Zara's academic achievements and PhD, but Zara feels like they don't understand her or what she’s really and truly most passionate about: baking. (but also dinosaurs and a love for many animals). She feels lonely and depressed. Zara is also autistic. Before Baking Club, Zara felt she had no one to talk to who shared her interests, and she has always felt like the odd one out. But at Baking Club, she meets Yan who will happily listen to her talk about baking; Amit who will tease her and treat her the same as he would everyone; Geraint who appreciates her baking talents; and Bea who brings them all together. Zara is very caring and empathic, and often notices when others are acting differently. She is also very knowledgeable about baking and detail driven; yet is very critical of herself and quick to catastrophize. She is socially awkward, but is also an extrovert and yearns to have friends.

Geraint from Turtle Bread

(Image credit: Comixology Originals)


Geraint is a very anxious young man from a small town in Wales, who dreams to be a baker. He also struggles with his self-image; not feeling completely confident in being himself, and feeling like he needs to hide his gay identity. But he grows a lot throughout the story and is the catalyst for properly bringing everyone together as the 'turtle bread team!' as everyone sees Geraint's baking abilities and want to help him get real recognition for it. Geraint is creative, dedicated and the kind of person that everyone likes.

The cover for Turtle Bread.

(Image credit: Comixology Originals)

Turtle Bread: A Graphic Novel About Baking, Fitting In, and the Power of Friendship is  available digitally now from Comixology Originals. A print edition is coming in October from Dark Horse Comics.

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Will Salmon
Comics Editor

Will Salmon is the Comics Editor for GamesRadar/Newsarama. He has been writing about comics, film, TV, and music for more than 15 years, which is quite a long time if you stop and think about it. At Future he has previously launched scary movie magazine Horrorville, relaunched Comic Heroes, and has written for every issue of SFX magazine for over a decade. He sometimes feels very old, like Guy Pearce in Prometheus. His music writing has appeared in The Quietus, MOJO, Electronic Sound, Clash, and loads of other places and he runs the micro-label Modern Aviation, which puts out experimental music on cassette tape.