Queer stories that fill you with a warm and fuzzy feeling are important—the blissful normalcy of slice-of-life romance with the promise of a happy ending is rewarding and uplifting, and sends a message of hope to the real world while providing a cute escape into the fictional. It says that queer love is perfectly capable of being sweet and life-affirming enough to be the subject of a romantic dramedy, a genre that’s been pretty exclusively heteronormative for all of print and Hollywood history. Sometimes you want to sink into the comfort zone of sugarcoated romance tropes, and it’s important to have a version of this that everyone of all identities can see themselves in.
Sometimes, though, you also want to see queer identities saving the world, fighting aliens, and kicking ass and taking name in genre fiction. Why should superhero adventures, sci-fi cityscapes, and zombie survival action-comedies be solely the realm of cis, straight people? Well, these three comics are here to help fill that void.
As with the cute romance recommendations, consider this not a review post but simply some suggestions of works I’ve found and found enjoyable. Happy Pride Month, everybody! Continue reading
I think we can all agree that the Tragic Sad Dead Gays genre isn’t welcome these days (not to say that it was ever totally welcome, but given the progress of time and sensibilities, this sentiment has become much more mainstream). Instead, a whole bunch of creators are embracing the idea that LGBTQ+ folks are just as capable of being protagonists in stories with happy endings, and stories across an exciting range of genres. This week, we zoom in on the romantic dramedy—tales of love, growth, and shenanigans set in a world recognisable as ours. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’ll change your life—or, maybe you’ll just enjoy some sweet queer content, able to relax with the knowledge that a respectful handling and happy ending is in sight.
As I’ve said before, I feel weird writing about stories that aren’t yet finished, and as all the webcomics below are ongoing, I can’t review them in good conscience because I haven’t seen the full story. Consider these not reviews, then, but recommendations of a few little gems I’ve found this year that I find particularly delightful so far, and that I invite you to jump into and come along for the ride as they progress. Continue reading
It’s a strange business, reviewing things that you haven’t finished—generally I try not to do it, because after all, how can you judge a story when the story isn’t done with being told? However, sometimes the amount of beauty and intrigue in a work is not balanced by its update schedule, and you find yourself not wanting to wait years more to talk about it. And that is how I find myself peering into the swirling, fiery galactic pool of wonderment and bizarreness that is Ava’s Demon… or at least, it’s first seventeen chapters or so.
Michelle Czajkowski’s webcomic throws you (or at least, me) for a loop by promising ‘demons’ in the title and then landing its protagonists in space. Not to say, of course, that something we would name ‘demons’ cannot exist in space—it’s an artful blurring of the lines between fantasy and sci-fi, juxtaposing an ancient, magical-looking alien race and their sorcery against a blue-screens-and-white-panelling technological powerhouse. And caught in the middle of it is an ordinary girl named Ava, or at least, as ordinary as you can be when you appear to have a malicious, fiery spirit whispering threats and discouragements over your shoulder, and have done for your entire life. Continue reading
So many Dumbing of Age characters wear glasses. It might seem like nothing out of the ordinary and nothing to get excited about, but usually prescription eyewear is designated to only one or two characters out of the cast—and will usually be used as visual coding for what kind of person they are. Orphan Black, for instance, stars a bunch of genetically identical clones who should all have perfect eyesight if one of them does, but Cosima wears glasses so that we know she’s The Smart One. Hey, the nerd girl in Dumbing of Age wears glasses, but… so does the ex-cheerleader, the up-and-coming political student, the party-loving advocate for sexual freedom, the roller derby star, and the alcoholic angry Canadian. Eyesight problems do not discriminate between types of people, kind of like in real life!
[Spoilers for the comic from here on out, mostly to do with who gets together with who]
This webcomic overall has a good tactic going on by filling its cast with different kinds of the same thing, creating a spectrum and avoiding stereotyping. Continue reading