Yayyy for queer comics! Pregnant Butch chronicles our butch protagonist Teek through the journey of realizing she’d like to have a kid, acquiring sperm, being pregnant, and later giving birth. Both humorous and tender, this graphic novel simultaneously critiques both the birthing industry and our society’s weirdness with gender, in whole.
Sadly I wrote a big review of this book and wordpress dissolved it into thin air as soon as I pressed “publish.” Bummer.
This comic is about Annah, and told through the eyes of people/animals who regularly interact with her. She’s described as a confused bisexual tease with some lovable quirks. Annah never gets to speak for herself, which is honestly a little too “male gaze-y” for my taste, and there’s some kind of weird management of the subject of mental health which was kind of uncomfortable.
But the story remains interesting and unique, and the illustrations are adorable. Especially “Pidgy” the pigeon. I’d read an entire book about Pidgy.
find a copy here
This behemoth of a YA coming of age story is 470 pages. The internet recommended it to me, and I was immediately drawn to the idea of it: a teenage lesbian coming of age in farmy and conservative Miles City, Montana, who gets sent to what is basically an “ex gay” boarding school (you know, like along the lines of the one in the genius film But I’m A Cheerleader, and uh, unfortunately in real life too (see map)).
I’m going to start with the critique so that I can end with the really good parts: There are two distinct (and I think unintentional) halves to this book: the first takes place at home in Miles City, and the second takes place at the ex gay boarding school. I don’t feel like they mix well; most of the characters from the first half are totally dropped, and characters in the second half just show up mid-book. Also, the ending leaves you hanging, and I My impression is that the author had a really huge body of work and the editors were like “let’s delete a bunch of stuff and cram this into one book,” rather than “let’s turn this into a miniseries/trilogy” or something… Or the contrast is intended to highlight just how different Cameron’s life suddenly gets when she’s sent away…
But the good! The writing is great, and the setting of Miles City is thoroughly and wonderfully described. I grew up totally West Coast, but the descriptions of how Cameron navigates the space as a young teen felt so familiar. There’s such lovely and nostalgic attention to detail. The coming out parts between teens are so super right on, and I really believed in her relationships and friendships in the first half of the book. I found the religion part really interesting (her aunt moves in and starts practicing as a very Born Again Christian), and while that’s the detail that unfortunately gets Cameron eventually sent away to the ex gay school, it indeed makes for a captivating setting.
The book is a hulking 470 pages, but I remain impressed with the large quantity of information and “story” that gets fit into it. I could really go for a sequel, but I can’t find any evidence of one being in the works.
This graphic novel recently got famous, as (an apparently really great film that I haven’t seen yet) is based upon it. I waited for ages for it to come in at the library– and I want to turn it in quick because there are tons of people in line behind me who have been waiting for it for ages as well.
This is one of those tragically sad/beautiful love stories that people like so much. Based on Clementine’s diaries, the story centers around her coming of age as a lesbian, and her (tumultuous) relationship with Emma. But the whole story begins with Emma reading those diaries at Clementine’s (horribly homophobic) parents’ house after she has died. Sigh, I know.
The writing and art is solid enough that a few minutes of reading past this tragic premise (in the first few pages), I’d forgotten the sad part (until the end, of course). The art is totally gorgeous, and the (often really drawn out) sex scenes come as close to being to being hot as cartoon sex scenes are going to get for me. Certain parts of the story seem a little trite (like the conclusion to the beach scene near the end), but over all there’s a whole lot of solid romantic story compressed into a mere 156 beautifully painted pages.
Don’t be turned off by the weird 1990’s graphic on the front cover. This book will blow your brains straight out of your head, and in a variety of directions (figuratively, of course). I finished this book the other day and I don’t think I’ll be done processing the intricacies of it for a while, still. However, I’m not waiting to post this because I want people to acquire this book and read it soon.
The book begins with a kind of racist white girl who one day turns black after ignorantly saying some racist stuff to her boss. The plot just goes all kinds of places from there; relationships materialize and fall apart, magical things literally or maybe figuratively happen, family histories are explored, there’s a wedding, a death, some transmogrification… All in 212 pages. I don’t know how to describe this writing… but I know that I like it.
If you’re in the USA you can one of the few copies left starting at One Cent on Amazon, or do what I did and borrow a copy from Inter Library Loan. Canadians, Mayr is one of you– so you can get it even easier. No excuses!
Starting From Here is a nice, earnest YA book about a teenage lesbian named Colby who just got dumped by her first girlfriend for a boy. Though I’m an adult and enjoyed it, I feel like it really is for teenagers– reading it brought to mind the sweet teenage lesbian classics Annie On My Mind and Rubyfruit Jungle.
The structure of the story is comfortable (read: a little bit formulaic), but the surrounding details are quite good: there are unusual elements like a GSA, a trucker dad, a stray (three-legged) dog and a problematic aunt. I would have been thrilled to read this coming of age book as a teenager ( I was starved for coming out narratives, info about supportive adults, and comradery in how it feels to get dumped, etc). I feel like it fills a previously un-filled niche in queer YA lit. Also, the author’s a youth services librarian (yeah!).
Find a copy at your nearest library here
The Book Bindery by Sarah Royal
Coming in at almost 100 pages, The Book Bindery is the story of what happens when Sarah takes the “go for whatever job takes you” route of employment upon moving to a new place. In a lot of ways, she captures how truly mundane any job can be; though I have never worked in a book bindery, I have absolutely felt similar feelings of apathy, surprise, obsession, etc. In this mega-zine, you’ll not only learn about the various weirdnesses of the author’s particular employer– you’ll also learn bits about how books get bound. Check it out!
Find a copy here
Wish You Were Me by Myriam Gurba
Wish You Were Me came sometime after Gurba’s previous pretty awesome book of shorter stories, Dahlia Season. It’s a weird little combination of story-lets (The whole thing is 45 pages long), ideas, and poem-like pieces. She’s a super- smart writer– and in this book– ridiculously “OMG did those words really just say what I thought they said.” It’s a dirty little collection about relationships and sex and life and stuff. But it’s maybe not that simple. I can’t really describe it– check it out! Buy a copy here!