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On Loving Women

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  340 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
"On Loving Women is in turns wistful, sexy, goofy, bittersweet, frank, and adorable. Diane Obomsawin's deceptively simple lifework and straightforward writing style capture the breathless sweetness of holding another girl's hand for the first time, and the happy, lusty intimacy of a virginity-ending, drunken threesome. Delightful."—Ellen Forney, author of Marbles: Mania, D ...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published February 18th 2014 by Drawn and Quarterly
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sam Quixote
Apr 20, 2014 Sam Quixote rated it liked it
On Loving Women is a collection of short comics about Diane Obomsawin’s friends describing how and when they discovered they were lesbians and what the experience was like for them. Obomsawin’s style is very matter-of-fact, presenting the stories very simply both narratively and visually often in a black and white six panel grid with characters drawn with animal heads (perhaps to symbolise their different backgrounds but also could be just whimsy on the author’s part).

Because of this presentati
Joey Alison Sayers
Aug 23, 2015 Joey Alison Sayers rated it it was ok
2 stars feels low, but it means "it was ok", which it was. The book consists of several stories of women discovering that they like doing it with women, and that's a pretty promising premise. Unfortunately, the stories are short and their plots are jumbled, meaning we never really get to know any of the characters very well. And the simplified art fails to add any distinguishing characteristics to any of the characters - they end up feeling very 2-dimensional. Really wanted to like this, but ...more
On Loving Women is a comic (in both senses) collection of queer lady stories, compiled and illustrated by Diane Obomsawin. Her style is really fun and simple, but so charming and fitting to the subject. These stories are full of funny and awkward adolescent angst, but not in an overwrought YA lit way. All the women came of age in the 60s through maybe the 80s, so more than a few of the stories are really touching because of how much things have changed since then. As a collection, it's really st ...more
Mar 12, 2014 MariNaomi added it
Shelves: graphic
I did a graphic/comic review of this book for LA Review of Books. You can see it here:
On Loving Women by Québécois animator, graphic artist, and painter Diane Obomsawin is another really awesome book that I’m not sure I would have heard about if it hadn’t been sent to me to review! So I am super happy to be able to share it with you all. On Loving Women is a pretty quick read, and seemingly simple. It’s a collection of comics about coming-out—specifically, Obomsawin’s friends and lovers. It’s originally in French, and was translated by Helge Dascher. While this book is simple, ...more
It took me a while to warm up to this book but by the end* I was cracking up! This book is a collection of 10 stories about first love and sexual identity in women's early lives, as opposed to experiences in established lesbian relationships. Odd drawings and hard to distinguish characters but overall fun AND poignant ("I wanted to be the center of attention...and I wanted nobody to notice me."). I especially liked the classic devil and angel taunting October in her story, and the last page* is ...more
Mar 18, 2014 Carla rated it it was ok
So disappointing.
The writing is bland and perfunctory. It didn't get my attention and I often was unable to tell which character was drawn in front of me because the story has no pace and order, women just come and go, sometimes without any explanation of what happened.
I enjoyed 3 stories (Diane's, Charlotte's and Jeanne's), but it was a shame that the author did not provide much more details and emotions. I would like to read more about them.

I would not recommend this book.
Dec 20, 2014 Kokeshi rated it liked it
Really interesting and even, at times, touching. Unfortunately it was too disjointed for me to really get in to it.

cute little collection of stories from women about their first romantic and sex experiences with other women.
Nov 20, 2016 Josh rated it liked it
Each story feels like chapter one of an interesting book, but then ends way too early and leaves you wanting more.
Zena V.
Oct 04, 2016 Zena V. rated it liked it
Shelves: comix-d0ne
The animals make me think of the same thing as when reading Maus - it's almost like a depersonalization. Even the simple humour gives this off. Layers of protection laid over ones self, to protect a core.
Mar 07, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys comics!
This book, On Loving Women, is a collection of short comics staring Diane Obomsawin’s friends. This book describes how and when they discovered they were lesbians and what the experience was like for them. I am not a lesbian, but I believe everyone should have a right to be whatever they want.

This story was a bit ummm choppy? I guess I didn't realize it was different women in the beginning of the story, so I read it as one woman's experience. I learned this wasn't the case because of conflictin
Jul 22, 2014 Robert rated it liked it
2014 is the year of LGBTQ-themed graphic novels from non-LGBTQ specific, mainstream-y alt-comics presses. In addition to this charming collection of first-person lesbian coming out stories from the creator of 2009's Kaspar, published by D + Q, we've gotten 100 Crushes by Elisha Lim (Koyama Press), Pregnant Butch by AK Summers (Soft Skull), and the upcoming Massive, edited by Graham Kolbeins and Anne Ishii (Fantagraphics). It's a weird but very welcome development that I hope continues. The fact ...more
Samantha Waxman
Mar 06, 2015 Samantha Waxman rated it really liked it
This book was great! Words I would use to describe it include whimsical, cute, hilarious, and poignant. It's like Garden State, but for lesbians.

The book is a series of short comics based on the lives of the author's lesbian/queer community. We get coming out stories, family non-acceptance, sexual exploration, and many other topics.

Obomsawin is an excellent comic artist. She has a really keen sense of cinematography (if I can call it that in a comic) and amazing comic (as in comedy) timing. I al
Emilia P
Apr 22, 2014 Emilia P rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
With the weird animal characters of a Jason comic, but the stories of uhhh... just like a group of your friends, this book is a curious one. I didn't love it, because it's not really particularly narrative, but I liked it because it was just like: here's some different experiences of being a lesbian for different people, some of them are exciting, some of them are hella boring, most of them are in between. I did really like the art, again -- unique but also plain and a little boring. In an ...more
Bogi Takács
Aug 17, 2014 Bogi Takács rated it it was amazing
Comics where lesbian women - the author's friends AFAIK - talk about how they figured out that they were lesbians. The artwork oddly reminds me of Maus of all things (it's probably just the animal-headed people), but it is a lot more tender and gentle, as befits the subject matter.

I could've read multiple books full of this stuff; great style, touching moments. There is also heartbreak, partings and sadness, but this book does not confirm to the Angsty Queer Person With So Much Relationship Trou
Liz Yerby
Sep 25, 2015 Liz Yerby rated it it was amazing
real sweet. love the simple linework, and the stories themselves have a simpleness and truth. i like one blurb about it described the book as coming out stories, when it's more about sex, but also it manages to be so in a really nice friendly way. i mean, a case can be made that it's about coming out to one's self, but what i'm saying here is it's a good book. a light read.
May 22, 2016 Grace rated it liked it
A short graphic novel collecting several French and/or Québecoise lesbians' stories of first love. Obomsawin's got her own artstyle and stuff but it wasn't that impressive artistically and I wish there was maybe more of a framing besides story a, story b, story c, etc. I also wish it'd focused on like .... 5 stories instead of 10 and gone into more detail. Still a nice little read.
Apr 05, 2015 Gloria rated it liked it
Simply illustrated anecdotes of how the author's friends and lovers came out/fell in love/found themselves. Had there been some connecting thread or some overarching narrative (the author's own story and connection to the women, for example, or even an introduction), the book would have been stronger and more compelling. Still, charming and poignant.
South Buncombe Library
4 stars. A portion of this was in The Best American Comics 2015 and I liked it so much I wanted to read the entire piece. Obomsawin lovingly captures these women's experiences in a simply drawn and at times emotionally challenging collection of stories. Readers don't have to love women in a sexual way to love these women on the pages or in the world. -Sarah
Edwin Arnaudin
Mar 07, 2016 Edwin Arnaudin rated it really liked it
A pleasant breeze of a read that nonetheless offers plenty of substance. Each short recollection provides a poignant look at a young woman bravely exploring her true self with next to no idea how and minimal help from those not in her situation – the cumulative effect of which is pure delight for the reader.
Jul 23, 2016 Melinda rated it liked it
- a collection of coming-out stories from a variety of women in Francophone Canada
- characters are drawn as animals with human bodies, giving the stories (esp the sex scenes) a quirky touch
- most of the stories are lovely, but the one about a 26-year-old seducing a 15-year-old... how—why—? I don't want to know
Oct 14, 2014 Arwa rated it liked it
Raw and true; It was a random book I picked up, but the simple images and exploration are deep. I agree with one statement in the book "I wanted to be the centre of attention...and I wanted nobody to notice me."
Mar 07, 2015 Dru rated it did not like it
I just assumed I would like this. The stories were all too short for me to really appreciate, they read like quick little anecdotes from strangers' lives. I might have read it anyways if I liked the art buuuut I didnt, so I couldn't finish this book.
Sasha Boersma
Sep 26, 2015 Sasha Boersma rated it it was amazing
Heard of this book via a "top graphic novels by Canadian women" list, and had no expectations.

It's very sweet. A collection of memoirs/short stories of women discovering their sexual identity. Thoughtful and not graphic.

Cute illustrations!
Dec 17, 2014 Sam rated it liked it
A revelation in the most strictly enjoyable meaning of the word—true, undoubtedly, and with more than passing love—these stories pass from their bearers to lighten some of the burden of the shroud that surrounds those who haven't made such a journey yet and to brighten the vale of those who have.
Dec 22, 2014 Kit rated it liked it
Quiet, thoughtful, and frequently witty thoughts on girls who fall for girls, told with images loaded with an odd sort of childishness for the subject matter. Very honest, relevant, and full of nostalgia and heartache.
Apr 05, 2015 Jeimy rated it it was ok
Not what I expected. I bought it without knowing what it was about. I expected autobiographical skits. Instead I found unconnected coming out stories.

I would have preferred a connecting thread. Even one as flimsy as friends gathered at a party sharing their coming out stories.
Feb 03, 2016 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
I loved the format and style of this book. Reminded me of Lisa Hanawalt's illustrations of anthropomorphic people. Each story is charming and touching. Kind of like Bojack Horseman meets Fun Home.
Aug 03, 2015 Mariana rated it really liked it
Just re-read this and it was better than I remembered. Concise and sweet, without the blandness of other coming-out narratives.
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topics  posts  views  last activity Bo...: On Loving Women. 5 82 Mar 20, 2014 07:02AM  
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Born in Montreal in 1959, Diane Obomsawin spent the first twenty years of her life in France. After studying graphic design, she returned to Canada in 1983 and turned her attention to painting, comics, and animation. Here and There, her autobiographical film, garnered numerous prestigious distinctions. She has published a number of comics in French and one previous book with Drawn & Quarterly, ...more
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