Kiss Number 8 wasn't quite what I was expecting and I'm not sure how to discuss it without spoilers. I'll try to be vague in the main review, but I've added a spoiler at the end for those who want to be prepared.
Gender Queer, like the life depicted in its pages, is difficult to sum up in just a few hundred words. Maia Kobabe (e, em, eir pronouns) describes eir life from an unconventional childhood spent partly off the grid and homeschooled to eir current mid-twenties as a gender queer person making comics and still on a quest of self-discovery. It's not an easy read and no one should go into it expecting answers, a universal experience applicable to all gender-questioning individuals or a straightforward narrative.
If you've been following along, you know that we've been working to make a home for coverage of comics for kids. For several reasons, this can't be that home.
It's always tricky to give one solid review of a book that contains multiple stories, and Hide & Seek is no different. According to the first page, each of the three stories came from the same set of five prompts:
When DC announced they were launching new lines for kids and teens, Zoom and Ink respectively, fans everywhere were excited. And for good reason, as any medium requires an on-ramp for new readers and particularly younger readers. Hook 'em early and they'll read be readers for life and all that. The two lines are being merged into one for all younger readers now with titles for teens under the general DC banner, but that's a story for another time. In the meanwhile, they're still releasing the full line-up of graphic novels they announced earlier this year, which is full of really exciting, diversely populated titles.
Before I hop into the review on this one, I'd like to note that colorists rarely get the attention they deserve. Though her name isn't on the cover, Sarah Stern's colors set the Autumn/Halloween tone for Pumpkinheads and the book wouldn't be the same without her.
This was adorable. Seriously, you take a look at that cover and you'll get exactly what you expect. A queer witch and werewolf who were friends as kids are reunited as young adults to defeat a few bad guys and fall (back) in love. Both love interests are Asian and queer. Nova is a Hard of Hearing witch living with her two grandmas following the death of her parents. (Older queer women FTW!) Tam is a non-binary werewolf who has run away from an abusive situation only to end up in a magical forest fighting a demon horse.
Featuring two queer heroines forging their own paths in the Old West, this graphic novel is a fun and thoughtful adventure romance. Grace is a trans Georgian belle (sans money) escaping service in the Confederate army when she meets Flor, a queer Latinx lady bandit. It's a meet-disaster that turns into a working relationship when Flor realizes that she can't ransom Grace. Then as the two of them work together to uncover a Confederate plot, their relationship turns into something more romantic. The whole thing is adorable.
When Sleepless first came out, I was so excited that I subscribed to issues at my local comic shop. We covered the first issue back then, but since the series is now complete with two volumes, it's time for a full review. Everything I loved in that first issue continued throughout the series, so let's talk a bit about what made Sleepless an excellent romance/adventure comic.
If you need a Pride read, make it this truly excellent anthology of queer comics. If you want lovingly-rendered queer comics at any time of the year, this is a great read. On the longer side at 208 pages, this book is rated YA for some violence (warriors, not queer-hatred). The cast of creators is stellar, from voices you'll recognize to new talent you'll love.