This is the book for you if you like:
1) messy sister relationships
2) magic, used for both good and evil
3) a distinctive art style with emphasis on watery tones and pops of red
The Daughters of Ys is a retelling of an old Breton folktale, set in a magically protected and constructed seaside city called Ys. (Similar to Atlantis, it's a magical city that's now sunken and never seen again.) The Queen, possessed of faerie magic, has just passed away and her two daughters are left with an irresponsible, grieving mess of a father. The elder sister takes to the countryside, bonding with animals and local people, even finding love with a commoner. The younger sister takes her anger and magic and uses them to keep the city going with her father. She does all the things no one else is willing to do and it's unclear whether she's actually "bad" or just does evil things. If she didn't do them, the city would fall into the sea and the sea monsters that guard it would attack all the inhabitants, so is all the murdering she does to feed the monsters and magic really that bad? Hmm.
This is the book for you if you like:
Come Together is a collection of erotic comics from a stellar group of comics creators. Many will be familiar to comics readers, including Niki Smith and Hari Conner, but several were new to me and I'm happy to have read them. One of my favorite things about anthologies is the opportunity to be exposed to new creators and Come Together didn't disappoint.
You Brought Me the Ocean is an origin story for Aqualad, this time as a gay Black teen living in the US Southwest. So many secrets. His mother's been keeping him away for water his entire life, but why? What are the "birthmarks" on his arms and why do they glow when exposed to water? Is he gay? Why does everyone think he's dating his best friend Maria? And is it time to talk to the only out gay guy at school? Or do more than talk?
DC continues to impress with their YA origin stories. We've reviewed several, with more to come soon, but this one was billed as a fantasy romance, so we decided to give it priority.
Review: Ghosted in L.A. Vol. 1, by Sina Grace, Siobhan Keenan & Cathy Le
I really needed something cute when I picked up Ghosted in L.A., and I'm happy to say that it delivered. Jewish college freshman Daphne has just followed her high school boyfriend to L.A. for school... only for him to break up with her right after they get there. Her roommate is a grouch and she's having a hard time making friends. One night, in a moment reminiscent of Beauty & the Beast, she falls onto the gate of an abandoned haunted mansion and it opens for her.
Entry Number Three in the Quick and Easy Guides series from Oni Press/Limerence focuses on sex and disability. Unlike the previous two books, They/Them Pronouns and Queer and Trans Identities, this book seems more targeted toward disabled readers rather than an informative guide for abled readers. Topics include defining disability, consent, rejection, modifications for various disabilities and, largely, communication.
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.
Ready for yet another Best of 2019 list?
I knew it!
If you want to see what I loved the last two years, here are my lists from 2017 and 2018.
Standard disclaimer that I didn't read all that many comics this year and there's no possible way I could have read everything. And this list is totally subjective.
That said, I'd love to hear your faves from 2019!