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Alphabetical Index of Other Publishers

First Year Out: A Transition Story

This is the hardest kind of review to write. First Year Out: A Transition Story means well and supports a great cause, but it’s not very good comics. Sabrina Symington’s graphic novel covers key events in the first year of Lily’s life as a woman. She goes through laser hair removal to lose her beard, struggles to explain her change to her mother, narrates techniques for looking more feminine, reminds friends her pronouns have changed, and demonstrates voice training. She […]

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Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story is exactly what it says, in comic strip form. It’s charming and insightful and adorable. Debbie Tung’s comics are deceptively simple, mostly one-pagers of standard panels, but her self-figure is so cute and relatable. She uses dot eyes and a few lines for features, but I both know what she’s feeling and want to hug and protect her. I like that she has friends and later, a perfect-sounding boyfriend she appreciates […]

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Hypercapitalism: The Modern Economy, Its Values, and How to Change Them

Larry Gonick’s latest book, due out next month, is Hypercapitalism: The Modern Economy, Its Values, and How to Change Them, written by psychology professor Tim Kasser. He studies people’s “materialistic values and goals for money, possessions, and status” and the relationship between them and well-being. These connections are explained through Gonick’s cartoons. Hypercapitalism doesn’t have the humor I’m used to from Gonick’s other books. The opening, which introduces Kasser and his studies, explains that there are two parts to come, […]

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Peace of Mind #1

Peace of Mind begins with what a sitcom might look like in the Matrix. A woman in a VR simulation of a happy family runs out of money and is thrown away for dead. Members of some kind of underground society find her and hook her up to an interrogator, which threatens to bring doom upon them. The art is edgy but easily readable, with a scratchy style that fits the dystopian future. I get the feel, with art and […]

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Sugar Town

Hazel Newlevant’s Sugar Town is just the kind of lightweight but meaningful happy romance I needed. (Newlevant previously edited Chainmail Bikini: The Anthology of Women Gamers.) Hazel meets Argent at a party. Hazel’s already in a relationship with a guy, but they’re “open, or poly, or whatever”, and Hazel is fascinated by Argent (and her work as a dominatrix). A new date is just the thing, as Hazel is visiting Portland from New York. The bright colors and open lines […]

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Be Your Own Backing Band

Be Your Own Backing Band is the latest collection of Liz Prince‘s autobiographical comics. (She’s previously created Tomboy, Alone Forever, and the Ignatz-winning Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?) The comic strips here are about music, specifically her love of punk rock. That subject should find a sympathetic audience among comic readers, since the two media have a lot in common. That do-it-yourself ethos meant I enjoyed reading this although I think I recognized only five […]

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Maria and Me: A Father, A Daughter (and Autism)

Maria and Me is a short illustrated scrapbook capturing a father’s trip with his 12-year-old autistic daughter on a beach vacation. The content is slight in terms of events, but the significance comes in attempting to build understanding about how it feels to take care of a child with autism. The upscale hardcover packaging and simple images make this a lovely gift for anyone interested in learning more about the condition as it affects day-to-day life, particularly since it doesn’t […]

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Generations

Generations is the first graphic novel by Flavia Biondi translated from Italian to English, and it’s a strong debut. Matteo ran away from home three years ago to Milan, but now he’s slinking back to his small country town to live with his grandmother and his three aunts. He’s embarrassed that his life hasn’t been working out as planned, he feels like a failure, and he hasn’t spoken to his father because Matteo doesn’t believe dad accepts his coming out […]

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