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As the Crow Flies
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As the Crow Flies

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,472 ratings  ·  341 reviews
Melanie Gillman's webcomic about a queer, black teenager who finds herself stranded in a dangerous and unfamiliar place: an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp.
webcomic
Published (first published 2013)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,472 ratings  ·  341 reviews


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David Schaafsma
Melanie Gillman's unique webcomic turned paperback about a queer (but I only learned this for sure from the cover, because it wasn’t obvious throughout) black (though her Dad appears to be white) teenager on a backpacking trip with what appears to be an all-white, cis-gendered Christian feminist organization. The teen, Charlotte, or Charlie, eventually finds that other girls also feel sometimes marginalized by the women leaders. Though I personally don’t see it as deeply disrespectful to either ...more
Erica
It's interesting that I've read two graphic novels in a row featuring a prominent black female with thick ankles named Charlie, short for Charlotte. Was that a writing assignment for last year?



I don't know what to do with this graphic novel.

I mean, look at the summary: A queer, black teenager finds herself stranded in a dangerous and unfamiliar place: an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp.
It sounds like the kind of stuff I've been reading like crazy lately but I don't actually know wha
...more
Krista Regester
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it
My absolute favorite thing in this graphic novel is how the incredibly drawn (all in colored pencil) the landscapes are. I think it's worth a read just for that.
Skye Kilaen
A compelling YA graphic novel about what it's like to enter a space you can't be sure is safe, take hit after hit (metaphorically speaking), but try to keep going and bond with others in similar circumstances. Initially published as a webcomic, it's about a queer black teen girl who goes to a Christian feminist camp. Charlie is immediately wary when she realizes every other camper is white. Her black mom immediately gets why she's uneasy, whereas her white father doesn't see what the big deal is ...more
Sylwia (Wish Fulfillment)
The representation was handled very well while our black possibly-queer protagonist (whose body doesn’t match magazine covers) and the transgirl they gets to know experience the white cis straight ignorance around them. I loved the subtlety of how Sydney mentioned things that Charlie might not have processed yet. I loved how we see their responses to the ignorance through both appropriate emotional experience and through pondering, and then I also love how after calling out ignorance, there is u ...more
Rena
Dewey's #Readathon Book 1 - I loved this book so much. The story of a black female questioning teen at an all-white summer camp is just the amount of idealism and snark I liked. And the artwork is well-drawn and gorgeous. However, the ending was a small letdown because I wanted more. I think this does continue further, and I'm down for it.
Darth
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. While I agree with most of the messages strewn throughout this YA comic, I'm left conflicted, because here we have yet another LGBTQ non-binary white woman (sorry) who really, really, really believes her experience is exactly the same as a gay black youth's experience and that rubs me the wrong way, hard.

I'm sick of pretty much every LGBTQ person saying their persecution is the same as black people. It's not. Yes, they both suck and are unnecessary and wrong, but LGBTQ people, you're
...more
Hannah Garden
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, november-2018
Wait I LOOOVED this but is that the end!?? Is this volume one!?? What happens!!!!

Oh ok pardon me I just took the two seconds necessary to find out the answer to my screaming and yes this is part one.

Phew.

Ok well so then my review is: I LOOOOOOVED this and am dying for more.
Michelle
Loooved this, though I'm super disappointed at where it left off (I wasn't aware that this was going to be a 2-volume release).

Charlie, a queer black teen, has committed herself to an all-white Christian backpacking camp. Charlie doesn't feel like she fits in with the other campers but is resolute to finish the week-long hike the camp has every Summer.

It's a brief description, but that's more or less the plot. Gillman is much more interested in exploring Charlie - her feelings, thoughts, and d
...more
Rod Brown
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A summer camp hike becomes an enthralling microcosm of a lot of today's hot topics: race, gender, sexuality, feminism, spirituality, microaggressions, bullying, and our relationship with nature.

The only flaw that really needs attention is the fact that the cover design does not include a clear indication that this is only the first volume of a series so the reader does not expect a complete story. I was worried as the book started running out of pages and shocked when the story just stopped. I r
...more
Claire
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVE SO MUCH
ellis
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt
a bit disappointed, as i had been looking forward to this one. the art was lovely! especially the landscapes. but the story felt limited and didn't seem to get any resolution, and most of the characters fell flat. the dialogue was cutesy, though, and i enjoyed the interactions between charlie and sydney.

it would have benefitted a lot from being 2 or 3x the length.
MariNaomi
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic
A sweet, thoughtful story with stunningly beautiful color pencil artwork.
laura (bookies & cookies)
As many have stated in their reviews, this feels unresolved, but life is also unresolved, so I'll deal.

I really appreciated Charlie and Syndey's friendship. It felt extremely natural and comfortable.

Also, this is the 3rd summer camp graphic novel I've read this month... during the summer... so do with that what you will because I have no clue.
Ran
Jun 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2018, comics
... wow, not what I was expecting. Not really my cup of tea either. It is the result of a web comic, and feels definitely that way.
Maggie Gordon
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I don't know where I fall with As the Crow Flies. It is a beautifully illustrated book with an important story, but given this first book's lack of resolution, I'm unsure where it is heading. The story involves a black teen who has joined a women's religious group on a trek up a mountain. She immediately recognises that she is one of the only non-white individuals attending (save for one counsellor), and is discomforted by the lead's way of discussing women's retreats and "purification". Along t ...more
Laura
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels, queer, ya
The premise caught my eye when I first saw it. A young queer youth who has been sent off to a Christian summer camp where they are the only person of color.

This is a realistic story of what happens. There is no Christian bashing, if you think that will be what goes on, but Charlie has other feelings, longings, crushes, as they march from the camp up to Three Peaks, where once, women who were there in the time of the early white settlers, fled to get away from their husbands. There is more here
...more
Emma
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A short book but yet the best. This book for a teenager you can really relate to a lot. It has all of those detailed moments and it's humorous. I think the character strength is friendship because in the book one of the characters-Charlie meets someone new and throughout the story becomes her best friend.
Amy
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really really gorgeous. I have 2 issues with it: 1. It felt unfinished and like kind of a copout to keep talking about a surprise at the summit of the mountain and never go there. 2. I didn't like that she kind of guilted Sydney out of participating. Transfolk should be supported when they choose to take part in traditional gender expression.
Jenna
Beautifully illustrated and it feels like I’m missing a few things (the subtle hints that pop up in Charlie’s mind, shown as thought “boxes”) in terms of back story. Will sneak online to see if there’s any more...
Nay Keppler
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Kept waiting for something to happen. This book is perfect for fans of Crayola colored pencils who like watching grass grow.
Kat Ice
it was cute but a little to religious for me. loved the artistry and the flow of the book though.
Madison
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautiful and important book! I loved the illustrations especially.
Liralen
Charlie is thirteen and black and maybe queer and at an almost all-white Christian summer camp. As the book opens, she's in a sort of teenaged limbo, not sure she wants to be there. And as the book closes, she's still in a sort of teenaged limbo, because the story is unfinished. There's no real satisfaction to be had here.

As the Crow Flies started as a webcomic. The entire text to date is still available online (there's a note here that says the whole story is eventually meant to be published in
...more
Bethany
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, black-authors
I really, really loved this graphic novel! As the Crow Flies follows a black, queer teen girl who goes to a religious girls outdoor wilderness camp. She is questioning things and is struggling to connect with God, while also dealing with thoughtless, low-key racist religious talk. (i.e. spiritual cleansing being referred to as "whitening") and an anti-male version of feminism that makes her transgender friend and fellow camper very uncomfortable.

What's interesting about this book is that is real
...more
Bogi Takács
I didn't realize this was only Book 1 of... I assume more books, it's not marked anywhere. I thought it was a standalone, but it ends very abruptly and there are more pages online.

I had mixed feelings, which are colored by the fact that while I'm not Black, I was an ethnic minority person in a Christian (specifically Catholic) summer camp and my experience was.... very different and much more terrible. Granted, in a different country. I might need to sit on my feelings a bit before I review this
...more
Olivia
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been on my radar for awhile, perhaps looking at Eisner or Ignatz nominees? I was excited to hear it won the Stonewall Award and moved it to a higher priority on my list.

This is a quick read thanks to Gillman's use of lots of aspect-to-aspect panel transitions between wordless panels, many taking up whole pages. I'm usually a fan of this anyway but I really think it helps this story in particular. The colored pencil art is impressive due to the medium but not my favorite.

This book has a
...more
Maia
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, lgbtq
This paperback collects the first 250 pages of Melanie Gillman's fantastic webcomic of the same name. I fell in love with this story on the internet years and years ago, and am delighted to have this physical volume to hold in my hands. The story is just as sweet and human on a second read, and I made a conscious effort to linger over the gorgeous silent landscape pages instead of rushing through it. Can't wait for volume two!
P.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been following the webcomic since... maybe it started? And it was very gratifying to be able to read the story in print all together, to appreciate the amazing colored pencil landscapes, and to feel the arc of the story in a way it wasn't really possible for me to do, reading it in bits and pieces. What emerged was a story about finding friendship and solidarity in a place that isn't as safe as it is advertised to be, about a young person's beginning to question their religious beliefs and ...more
Brittany
This is a great choice for queer, trans and diverse characters. There is some really important dialogue as two of the characters start to question the history around them and how it represents different people. There was a feather that made frequent appearances throughout the story that I don't really understand the metaphor behind and even though this ended on a firm cliffhanger it is not made clear whether or not this is a series. Still a solid choice for its beautiful colored-pencil illustrat ...more
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Fictional Graphic novel 1 4 Nov 13, 2018 05:53AM  
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