A Russian immigrant, dissatisfied with his life finally meets a man who makes him happy. But when he discovers that his new partner is afraid of sex, he begins to question if a relationship between them is even possible.
Four transgender and non-binary inclusive stories about big fat gay men hanging out.
In both sci-fi and fantasy and comics there is a long history of allegorical and implied queerness—using the trappings of genre to code characters and themes as queer while keeping them superficially straight enough to not make waves, or queering them in ways tied to their general otherness (like gender-flexible shapeshifters or gay aliens from single-sex species). Queer representation is better now than it was in even the recent past, but we want more. We want to see people like us as heroes—slaying dragons, piloting spaceships, getting into trouble, and saving the day—without having to read their queerness from between the lines. We want to see beautifully crafted stories in the mediums and genres we love, that reflect and celebrate our own experiences of gender and sexuality. So we’ve decided to do it ourselves. We’re assembling, crowdfunding, and publishing an anthology of the comics we want to read: science fiction and fantasy exploring and showcasing queer characters, themes, and relationships, from a broad spectrum of world-class creators. Beyond is a black-and-white comic anthology of 18 original science fiction and fantasy comics. The first volume was successfully crowdfunded through Kickstarter and completed in 2015, and the second volume: post-apocalypse and urban fantasy edition is taking shape in 2016. -Sfé Monster, Editor
(Volume 2 reached funding today, 5/11/17!)
Julie Maroh’s first book, Blue Is the Warmest Color, was a graphic novel phenomenon; it was a New York Timesbestseller and the controversial film adaptation by French director Abdellatif Kechiche won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. Maroh’s latest book, Body Music, marks her return to the kind of soft, warm palette and impressionistic sensibility that made her debut book so sensational.
Set in the languid, European-like neighborhoods of Montreal, Body Music is a beautiful and moving meditation on love and desire as expressed in their many different forms—between women, men, and gender non-conformists alike, all varying in age and race. In twenty separate vignettes, Maroh explores the drama inherent in relationships at different stages: the electricity of initial attraction, the elation of falling in love, the trauma of breaking up, the sweet comfort of a long-standing romance.
Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship will see themselves in these intimate stories tinged with raw emotion. Body Music is an exhilarating and passionate graphic novel about what it means to fall in love, and what it means to be alive.
Order from The Yam Fam Directly
Boy, I Love You is a comics anthology celebrating the boys' love genre. Seven stories from seven creators will introduce you to radio hosts, models, mecha pilots, & scientists, and the challenges they’ll face at the intersection of life & love. Boy, I Love You features the work of Aatmaja Pandya, Kou Chen, Shivana Sookdeo, Emily Forster, Marlena Konglau, Eric Alexander Arroyo, and S.M. Vidaurri, with a cover by Caelin Cacciatore.
Check, Please! is written and drawn by Ngozi Ukazu.
Eric Bittle—former Georgia junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and amateur pâtissier—is starting his freshman year playing hockey at the prestigious Samwell University in Samwell, Massachusetts. And it’s basically nothing like co-ed club hockey back in the South. For one?
It’s a story about hockey and friendship and bros and trying to find yourself during the best 4 years of your life.
Dani (@danidoit) read Check, Please! and says...
I LOVED the main character, he's so sweet and easy to root for... it's easy to see where the romance is going pretty quickly. The way the love story is handled is almost a little too good to be true. It's definitely a feel-good romance, not erotica.
I plan on recommending this to a friend of mine who is straight, but loves hockey (you learn a lot about hockey) and another friend who is gay but is not into sports. I think that both of them would get something out of it. Once I got around the technical difficulties (trying to find the best way to read it*) I had a hard time putting it down. I'm glad I found it when a lot of story line had already come out.
I would call this comic PG-13. There is definitely swearing (one character is named Shitty), but it didn't stand out to me, so I don't think it was offensive or out of character. Some characters do talk about hooking up, but it's a college setting with college-age characters.
*Love In Panels recommends reading this in the Tumblr app or heading to their shop and buying it in PDF.
Suzanne would like to add that Dani sent her texts at 10pm and the next morning at 9am raving about the comic and whining that she had to go to work instead of continuing to read. Sounds like this is a good one!
1885: an age of industrial revolution and sexual frustration. Pricilla is a woman with needs, and her inventor husband Robert is a little too busy with his experiments to keep her fully satisfied. Science to the rescue! With a few gears and springs, the proper appendages, a little lubrication, and a lot of love, Chester 5000 is born! He's the perfect tool for the job... but what if Chester is more than just a machine? What are the consequences of trying to engineer love? A vintage delight for adult readers of all stripes, Jess Fink’s Top Shelf debut reads like a whimsical love-child of steampunk, silent film and erotic comics. CHESTER 5000: Because sometimes love comes with detachable body parts.
1889: an age of industrial revolution and sexual frustration. Isabelle is a lonely orphan, reprimanded at every turn by her strict matron. George is an inventor on the cusp of a brilliant discovery. Together they find love, but in an age of violent mechanization and military secrets, can their passion survive? After the smash success of CHESTER 5000’s first volume (the tale of a Victorian woman and her robot lover), beloved webcartoonist Jess Fink returns with another triumphant story of boundary-breaking love, sex, and technology. Discover the origins of your favorite characters along with all-new thrills. All the drama and adventure of the silent film era is here, enlivened with modern whimsy and erotic charm.
Cindersong is the tale of a misanthropic healer and her mild-mannered dragon as they search for her girlfriend's murderers. Unfortunately, her quest for bloody vengeance is frustrated by a series of increasingly cordial and well-meaning companions who insist on helping one another, learning new things, and exploring their feelings. Their travels take them through a wild and unexplored world- making friends, dodging foes, and skirting a deadly war.
Cindersong will contain mild language, mild romance, LGBTQ themes, lush food drawings, and genre-typical violence. It is not recommended for readers who are emotionally unprepared for any of those things.
Now that the Kickstarter is over and Vol. 1 has gone to print again, you can pick up Volume 1 and 2 in both print and digital. Buy 'em all here!
Dates is an anthology of queer historical fiction comics, Kickstarted in September and October of 2015 and published by Margins Publishing in February of 2016. When we started work on Dates, we wanted to create a book that showcases queer characters and experiences throughout the ages without being constrained by what a lot of media might have us believe is “historically accurate.” Since so much of historical fiction only features queer characters in the context of tragedy–if they appear at all–we were desperate for more stories. Stories that better represented the diversity of our experiences, in all the times and places that we’ve existed. Dates is a book that doesn’t rewrite history, but instead reframes it so that the spotlight is on people who are all too often ignored.In the first volume of Dates, we had three rules:
Though our length requirement has changed, rules 1 and 3 are as central to Dates as they were when we launched the first book.
(Dates 2 is now through the Kickstarter process, you can see the campaign here.)
Review based on Dates 1:
Cravats. Latin. Rope-walking. Androgyny. Pirates. Girls in gowns running away together. Boys and boys and girls and girls and people who don't identify any particular way... This book is hard to review because not only is it an anthology, the stories within span thousands of years of history, continents, empires, cultures... it's impossible to pin down. This is a good thing if you want short, sweet stories of love and adventure.
As with any anthology, if you're looking for a longer, cohesive narrative, this isn't the book for you. If you want something you can pick up and read for a bit? It's perfect. With 25 tales, the art and plots are as diverse as you'd expect. You won't love every piece, but I think you'd have to be a true curmudgeon not to find a few you like. As for queer rep? Lots of relationships and orientations are represented, and some of the characters are never "defined," which is as it should be.
Short review because the title says it all: Dates is an anthology of queer historical fiction. If that sounds like something you'd like, you should pick this up.
Read about Dates II here!
DESTINY, NY is a 120-page graphic novel about love, loss, magic, cats, coffee, sex, growing up, and the way we build our own destinies every day.
This is going to be a bit of a Squee - you have been warned.
I first heard of DESTINY, NY when I was scrolling through Kickstarter and decided to back Vol. 2. Magical girls in love? Sign. Me. Up.
Fast forward a bit, and I've got a digital copy of DESTINY, NY (Vol. 1) waiting for me on the iPad. I had a terrible day yesterday. Not going to get into specifics, but trust me, I needed a pick-me-up.
Turns out, DESTINY, NY was just the thing! The original GN is 160 black & white pages, with two different art styles - one for present and one for flashbacks. I loved both styles, and really dug the blurred, surreal feel of the flashbacks, particularly the magical aspects.
Magic, you say? The main characters are both part of a group of young people identified by seers as having a "destiny." They go to a special school to learn about their destinies and prepare them for the challenges to come. After they've completed their destiny, the school provides them with the training they need to re-enter society at large and get on with their lives. Logan, the main heroine, fulfilled her destiny when was just thirteen years old, which has made the last decade of her life rather... unfulfilling. She's lost the love of her life, she's working as a barista, and she's pretty unhappy. Then she meets Lilith, our second heroine, and her life tips upside down.
First things first: this story is definitely a romance. Lilith and Logan have a pretty great meet-cute, followed by a hot and tumultuous relationship. The ending is somewhat ambiguous, but I choose to believe their Happy-For-Now will be a Happily-Ever-After. (Volume 2 explores this, but I don't have my hands on it yet.)
No matter how much I liked Logan and Lilith, the secondary characters really steal the show here. Gia, a fat girl with a scary destiny, is really well done. I loved that her size isn't "a thing," and that she was unapologetically into sex and love and friendship. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to see characters who don't fit the the "ideal" living full lives.
My biggest (only?) criticism is that the "big bad" felt undeveloped. She's evil from the time she's a little kid, which doesn't tell me much about her motivations. She is definitely awful, however, and it's quite satisfying to see her get her due.
Tl;DR - I loved DESTINY, NY and can't wait for Volume 2. The first volume proved to be exactly what I needed at the end of a rotten day, and I hope it gives you the same feels. Rated R for nudity, sexual situations, violence, language.