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Beyond: Queer Anthology Series

Beyond II: The Queer Post-Apocalyptic & Urban Fantasy Comic Anthology

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349 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2018

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Sfé R. Monster

27 books30 followers

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5 stars
69 (44%)
4 stars
60 (38%)
3 stars
20 (12%)
2 stars
5 (3%)
1 star
1 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 22 of 22 reviews
Profile Image for Khai.
180 reviews1 follower
June 9, 2018
I am so in love with everything about this book! Each and every story, the forewords, the incredible illustrations…everything! The stories have so much depth to them, even though they're brief. They're beautiful and have so much heart. I fell in love with the characters and their stories, most of which ultimately establish that even when the world is going to hell around you, or is just massively changing, what carries you through is the love in one's relationships and chosen/found family.

All the stories just feel remarkably suited to everything going on in the world right now.

I cried a lot while reading many of the stories, I'm not going to lie. But it was a good cry, a needed one. I truly highly recommend this book - especially if you value really great representation.

I’m just so excited about it and I love it so much! I’m really, really lucky to have been able to take part in the kickstarter. I’m just so in love with this book. All the creators are just beyond incredible.
Profile Image for Stewart Tame.
2,286 reviews87 followers
June 30, 2019
Well if you enjoyed the first Beyond anthology, you will very likely enjoy this sequel. The focus of the first book was Queer Fantasy and Science Fiction. For this one, we’ve the slightly narrower Queer Post-Apocalyptic and Urban Fantasy. Continuing this trend, a third anthology would probably be the very specific Queer Mad Max and Harry Potter …

All kidding aside, Monster and Stotts have put together an impressive collection of stories. Some random thoughts:

“How Not to Magic” by Katie Cunningham, Emmy B., Chan Chau, and Melanie Ujimori is incredibly cute and fun. I particularly enjoyed the sequence with the Council of Birds.

Reed Black’s story was one of my favorites in the first Beyond book, so I was happy to see him back with “Dear Wife”. His highly stylized figures are somehow just perfect, and he has a wonderfully deft and whimsical touch with fantasy.

“Stardust & Feathers” by Mar Julia somehow manages to pack all of the romance of an entire shojo series into just a few pages.

Nile, the main character from Jen Henkes’ “Fishing for the Truth” just cries out to be the star of her own ongoing series. Just saying …

“Entropy” by Rica March is just gorgeous. I love the characters’ expressive faces, and the fact that March can draw more than one body type.

The world Sarah Stern has created in “Cúchulainn” is fascinating. I’d love to see more of it.

“Wanderer” by Evan Dahm is one of those stories that will likely resonate in your mind long after it’s over …

To sum up, another outstanding anthology from Beyond Press. Definitely worth checking out! Recommended!
Profile Image for Lynn DiFerdinando.
352 reviews5 followers
June 25, 2018
Again, also Kickstarted this one but hadn't read it until now. Even better than the first one! So many cute stories and good ideas, and absolutely wonderful art. The July Fashion Issue was super cute. Quarantine and Sleeping Giant had nice worldbuilding. My favorite part of these stories is that often the worldbuilding is secondary -it's about the love, and the normal life people lead, even with magic and/or post-apocalyptic conditions.

ETA: On second thought, I realized what I liked the most: most if not all of these stories had happy endings. I'm so used to queer stories ending uphappily that I didn't even know what it felt like to have them all be happy.
Profile Image for Alexis Sara.
64 reviews10 followers
February 23, 2018
Beyond 2 is why comics are made. A showing of diverse talent creating inclusive worlds that exist beyond the end of the world. Worlds that are fantastic and queer, special, lovely and creative. Beyond 2 shows that post apocalyptic and urban fantasy settings can be so much more then the cut and past heteronormative stories we get. These stories have powerful romance, lovely unique versions of how the world could be, amazing art styles, 347 pages of greatness all in one place. I imagine I will feel the need to talk more about this because it's so damn good.
Profile Image for Jenna.
3,444 reviews38 followers
February 19, 2018
I’m still not that fond of short stories, but this anthology had a wonderfully diverse blend of stories, settings, and characters. Some allowed for glimpses into mystical or dystopian worlds, with just enough world-building to pique my interest without being confusing. Others focused on the relationship between individuals, with sparks of magic to make things interesting.

Definitely found artists I want to investigate further and glad to have seen and supported this anthology. Now for these stories to be published as graphic novels!
Profile Image for Louel.
51 reviews
January 29, 2018
This volume felt like it had more diversity in stories and characters than the first, and I enjoyed it much more. There's a bit of hope in almost every story
Profile Image for Marie Blanchet.
Author 7 books8 followers
March 25, 2018
The Beyond Anthology did it again! After the success of volume 1, which was a wonderful collection of short science-fiction and fantasy comics, Sfé R. Monster and Taneka Stotts have now released a new anthology that is just as fantastic as the first one. This time, the themes chosen were urban fantasy and post-apocalyptic stories! But have no fear, there is no grimdark to be found in these stories.

The point of the beyond anthology, as with many of these amazing queer kickstarted anthologies, is to give us stories where the gay aren’t buried, and where the characters are queers but their stories aren’t about being queer. Beyond especially wants to give us hope and happy endings and so this anthology is full of post-apocalyptic stories where people work together to build new lives and urban fantasy that aren’t about hiding as much as finding a little space to be yourself.

Read the full review here: https://blambooks.wordpress.com/2018/...
January 15, 2021
I rate this 3.5/5

Some story lengths definitely improved from Beyond I, however most still suffer from the lack of context/content because of this. I think there's short stories, and then there's 12 pages of large pictures short. I really do think these collections would be best served with fewer authors and more fleshed out stories, tales, and what have you.

Regardless, I enjoyed my time with the Beyond series. Many of the queer stories filled my heart with warmth and cuteness; and I do think if you want to see more queer literature, you need to buy into it and invest in it to show interest and support the authors.

Onto the Element series!
Profile Image for Amy Mills.
774 reviews4 followers
March 20, 2018
Overall, this is quite a good collection. There are three that I'm not especially fond of, several that I'd like better if I'd been able to make more sense of, and a lot of just really good ones. Story by story below. Note: the tags are for the volume as a whole; it seems like too much work to tag each story separately.

Reclamation: Very short poem with a lovely illustration.
How Not to Magic: Cute story. Artwork is a bit too cutesy in a few places, but mostly quite good.
Pilot Light: Enjoyable idea, but a bit too short to quite pull it off, imo. Good sketch-style artwork.
Dear Wife: Sort of a fairy tale, with a grumpy not-quite-Rumpelstiltskin. I liked the story quite a lot. The artwork, well, the animals were quite good, but there was an odd Picasso-esque style to the humans that I really didn't care for.
Stardust & Feathers: Nice meet-cute, via magical McGuffin. Best artwork so far, imo.
Daisycakes: Quite a funny take on spreading misinformed gossip, complete with acid rain and an acid resistant pet. Artwork is decent, but fairly meh.
Fishing for the Truth: Another funny one, about a "monster" in a sewer. Pretty good artwork (though it took me a while to puzzle out the chase scenes).
Entropy: One with more subtext than text, that I like better the more I think about it. Gorgeous artwork.
Time Will Tell: Can adopting a new pet count as a meet-cute? That's how I want to describe this one. Very good artwork.
Karana: The curse of not listening felled by the blessing of dance. Good story. Sketch-style artwork that's mostly good, except for occasional terrifying depictions of teeth.
Suite Victory: Another meet-cute, at an Olympics populated by satyrs, minotaurs, centaurs, and other animal/human hybrid types. Enjoyable story. Good artwork, except in one or two places where I was trying to figure out who a character was supposed to be.
Growth: Baby's first giant plant growth spell? Rather odd. What's up with the imp? Gorgeous artwork, though.
Cúchulainn: Disturbing story, but well done. Robots need hearts. Good artwork.
Found: Cute but short. Good artwork.
Void: It's interesting, but I really have no idea what's supposed to have happened. Beautiful background art. Varying foreground. Almost certainly CG (but used well).
Petrichor: Very nice reunification of family story. Gorgeous artwork. Reminds me a bit of Annihilation (the book), but with a much happier ending.
Wanderer: Another one with a puzzling storyline, that's probably a meta-for something. Impressive sketch-style artwork.
The Most Stressful Months of the Year: Sitcom, with monsters. I am not a big fan of sitcoms. Middling artwork (though my lack of enjoyment of the story is probably influencing my opinion).
Fairy Food!! Very cute mini-quest. Good artwork.
Sleeping Giant: Odd one, about coexisting with giants that cause natural disasters whenever they wake up. Good artwork.
Quarantine: Trapped in the Matrix, trying to get a message out. Good artwork.
Going Home: Escaped fairy, goons trying to drag back to the Otherworld. Not really fond of the artwork.
The July Fashion Issue: Um. If you're going to do a "Hey, she's so competent that she can totally talk about shopping while fighting a crustacean the size of a house" moment, it has to be earned. This just felt like a random snippet out of an anime. Decent artwork.
The Core: Meet cute via summoning-gone-wrong. Decent artwork.
Abnormal Cartography for Beginners: After school special, complete with McGuffin. Rather cartoony artwork (suits the material, but not to my taste).
The Courier: Another one that needs more ... something ... to work. Good artwork.
Profile Image for Rae.
104 reviews5 followers
June 24, 2018
If it’s possible, I loved this book even more than the first Beyond anthology. The stories and art span a vast array of moods and settings: from carefree adventure to matters of life or death; from subtle, almost wordless sequences of characters wandering through a changed natural world, to bustling urban tales filled with energy and visual jokes. Although I pre-ordered the book during its kickstarter, I only got around to reading it now, in a Pride month that’s been a bit more difficult than usual. It’s restorative to read such a broad collection of stories that feature queer people front and centre, with no unnecessary justifications.

My favourite story was Karana by Bishakh Som, the vignette of a group of space-travelling hijras made truly special by the fine characterisation in Som’s art. I also loved The Core by Jenelle Elizabeth and Danae Wilding, a sweet depiction of friendship as well as the intersection of online dating and magical summoning. Really, though, it feels wrong to choose favourites when everything was so good!

This is a book I’ll reread and lend out time and again, whenever my friends and I need the magic of a good story or of knowing we’re not alone in the world.
Profile Image for Julia.
112 reviews12 followers
September 12, 2018
En comparación a la primera antología, creo que Beyond II presenta una mayor diversidad de personajes e historias, y agradezco que demuestre que uno puede escribir todo tipo de historias (cómicas, de horror, misterio, heroismo, etc.) sin tener que recurrir al viejo cliché de "bury your gays".

Mis historia favorita de esta colección es "Fairy Food!!" , escrita e ilustrada por Sam Garvey. Un comic muy dulce, ilustrado con un estilo hermoso y que se corresponde perfectamente con el tema presentado. Por alguna razón hasta me hizo soltar unas lágrimas al final, por la simpleza de todo.

En general, fue una lectura amena. Me encantó.
76 reviews3 followers
November 26, 2019
This is !! The most important thing. The creation of community after tragedies is very queer, and every single comic in this book was so well done. There are so many dark and gritty post-apocalyptic/urban fantasy stories and this subverted everything in the best way. "Dear Wife" by Reed Black, about a woman who goes to do some shopping for her wife and gets held up by a fairytale-esque creature who forced her to complete three tasks, and "Daisycakes" by J. Doyle and U. Wood, where three strangers discuss a story they heard while waiting for the acid rain to stop, were probably the biggest standouts, but I loved all of them dearly. Favorite comic of 2019, I think!
Profile Image for B.
353 reviews
July 25, 2020
I loved the majority of these stories. The representation was full circle and yet wide ranging for me which I loved the most. Even though there were a couple of stories that felt half told or were confusing for me, I still appreciated them for the diversity. I've discovered plenty of new authors from this book so I'm looking forward to reading more works from them in the future and the upcoming anthology Elements : Earth edt Tanekia Stotts. Its getting to the point now where I'll just see her name on a book and automaticly buy it, no review needed. Her work is gold just like this book is.
Profile Image for Jon Allanson.
150 reviews1 follower
February 5, 2023
An exceptional collection of stories. Tales full of wonder and heart, brought to life in unique and captivating images. A great book to get lost in when you are away from those you love. Most of all a treasure of hope for readers to draw from and replenish their stores. I absolutely enjoyed exploring the worlds presented herein, and am happy to have met these disparate characters. Recommended to all.
48 reviews
May 3, 2021
An excellent anthology of short comics by and for queer people. It does seem to be out of print, so I was very lucky in being able to borrow a copy. I love the representation, and the different art styles and stories.

I particularly liked "Stardust & Feathers" and "Karana", and the art styles of "Pilot Light", "Void", and "The Courier".
Profile Image for Rivqa.
Author 12 books34 followers
August 14, 2019
As with most anthologies, I didn't love every story, but this book contains some beautiful art and delightful stories. These short comics err on the lighter side of their chosen genres, with adorable urban fantasy and hopeful post-apocalyptic tales. A worthy successor to the first volume.
Profile Image for P..
2,416 reviews78 followers
December 4, 2018
5 stars because of the wealth of queer talent and the unusually high hit rate for the stories - more than most anthologies I read.
Profile Image for Charlie.
980 reviews4 followers
December 31, 2019
The stories were a little short. 5 stars for all the creative post-apoc worlds. There are maybe 6 stories that really captured my fancy, but I wanted more!
Profile Image for Steph.
187 reviews2 followers
December 30, 2021
just as good as the first! my favorite story was the courier
Profile Image for Amanda.
386 reviews68 followers
February 8, 2019
I'm really glad that I pressed on and read Beyond II even after Beyond: the Queer Sci-Fi & Fantasy Comic Anthology was a bit of a letdown. It's nice to see creators listen to feedback and improve their future works accordingly, which I think this anthology did quite successfully. One of my major complaints about the previous book was the number of stories utilising the "bury your gays" trope. Unless I've forgotten one (having read this book in fits and starts over about a month), Beyond II avoids this entirely and has--despite a post-apocalyptic theme throughout many of the works--a much more positive and affirming tone.

Of course, being an anthology work, there are better pieces and less interesting ones mixed together, but I felt the overall quality of stories was higher than in the first anthology, as well. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this collection to anyone, whereas with the first I might qualify my recommendation or simply point people to individual stories I thought were good. I think that one of the factors that may have helped was this book being longer than the first, and allowing individual works to take up more pages. The loosening of space constraints helped creators tell much more full and engaging stories.

A few pieces in particular made me feel like I could read an entire series, or at least a full graphic novel, set in their worlds. "Pilot Light" by Steve Foxe and Paul Reinwand was a perfectly self-contained short work, but I would have loved to be able to see more of the backstories for each of the characters in the found family, or of other adventurers who pass through their little settlement. "Time Will Tell" by Ria Martinez and Samantha Cox was cute, relatable, and lush in its visuals. "Cúchulainn" by Sarah Stern was adorable and really hit a lot of my buttons (robots, Scottish stuff, badass women). "Quarantine" by Sonia Liao was gorgeously illustrated and I would have enjoyed reading an extended version of the story, though it did stand alone as a short work just fine. Also, I will always read and adore anything by the ever brilliant Evan Dahm who I've probably been following for around a decade now, and "Wanderer" was no exception.

On the whole, super glad I could be a kickstarter backer for this excellent addition to my digital bookshelves! I would happily back a third anthology in the collection if they ever see fit to put together another one.
Displaying 1 - 22 of 22 reviews

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