Uncomfortable with her "life" in the Fantasy Home with Soccer Scotty, Kitty the doll walks out, meets Army Jim (who is similarly uncomfortable in his...moreUncomfortable with her "life" in the Fantasy Home with Soccer Scotty, Kitty the doll walks out, meets Army Jim (who is similarly uncomfortable in his military milieu), and the two escape on the back of Mr. M., a silent but friendly cat--and ally--who delivers them to Dolltopia. Here, they meet partners Candy X and Candy O (both former "Darling Candy" fashion dolls), who run Jigsaw, a used clothing store where they can choose the clothes that make them feel most them, and they move into the doll hostel down the street run by the welcoming Kewpie. Just when their lives begin to feel livable--Kitty's even had surgery to get articulated arms, so she can arm wrestle--Dolltopia is threatened by a human invasion. Possible favorite moments: when the doll doctor fashions Heady--one of those giant body-less heads kids can put makeup on--wheels so she can move independently and arms so she can hold things, and she later puts them to use battling a lobster the dolls run into on a dock as they scout for a new location for Dolltopia.(less)
Super-great. Writer/illustrated Dylan Edwards does a bang up job framing and telling short stories/scenes from the lives of 7 different QFTMs (female-...moreSuper-great. Writer/illustrated Dylan Edwards does a bang up job framing and telling short stories/scenes from the lives of 7 different QFTMs (female-to-male transguys who are mainly attracted to cisgender men or other transguys). I loved techniques like the one found on pg 52--three panels, showing a budding transman becoming more comfortable with himself over time as he talks with his therapist: dialogue in first panel = Adam, slumped in chair: "Gender stuff?" Therapist: "Gender stuff." 2nd panel: Adam, sitting up a bit straighter, gesturing to self: "Gender stuff." Therapist: "Gender stuff." 3rd panel, Adam, sitting fully straight and making grand gesture with his arm fully extended: "Gender stuff!" Therapist: "Gender stuff." I enjoyed Edwards's funny details in the backgrounds of many scenes (names of vibrators at a sex toy store, for ex), ear for dialogue ("I've made a list of gender- and power-neutral acts in which we may engage"), and skill at capturing insights ("I used to date women exclusively...until I realized that not wanting to date misogynist guys is not the same thing as being a lesbian"). Good stuff. As I often find with graphic novels & other graphic-format books, I appreciated the art and skill of Tranposes more the 2nd time I read it. (less)
Doubt. Wistfulness. Growing consciousness. Growing confidence. Homesickness while at school, schoolsickness while at home. Actively trying to grow and...moreDoubt. Wistfulness. Growing consciousness. Growing confidence. Homesickness while at school, schoolsickness while at home. Actively trying to grow and carefully examining one's growth. Meeting people your age with convictions. Not having convictions yet. Deciding who you are and what you like. In a skillfully put-together book that feels effortlessly put-together (and includes many lists and blurbs from the zine she made when she was first beginning art school), Ramsey Beyer evokes the big weirdnesses and small wonderfulnesses of one's first year away from home and in school (in her case, art school, but more broadly, college).
As an adult reader, it made me nostalgic--especially Beyer's cataloging of the seemingly mundane new traditions (weekly dates to pile into someone's room and watch The OC, getting Chinese from a restaurant called Eat Must Be First every Saturday) and experiments (let's all straighten our hair--even the boys--and take pictures on a lazy afternoon) with new friends that cumulatively add up to deeper levels of intimacy. I feel like I would've been interested in reading it if I could have before leaving for school--but I still need to recommend it to teens (it's marketed as a YA book) in that position and see how it speaks to them.
So good. One of the best graphic-format memoirs I’ve read, and one of the best books on mental illness. Forney makes brilliant use of comix to capture...moreSo good. One of the best graphic-format memoirs I’ve read, and one of the best books on mental illness. Forney makes brilliant use of comix to capture the poles of manic depression and explore "Club Van Gogh"--the high incidence of bipolar disorder in artists, the hell of a choice one has to make as a mentally ill artist between what feels like "keeping one’s edge", the overflow of ideas and creative energy and productivity during mania if one remains unmedicated, and of functioning more responsibly, medicated, where managing to bring even one full idea to the surface is a struggle like dredging a lake with a spoon. And her coining of "cra-dar" (rhymes with ’gaydar’)--a mentally ill person’s real or imagined ability to recognize other mentally ill people--cracked me up (no pun intended). (less)