This was a fascinating – at times, uncomfortable-making – book. Folks who are lesbian and gay are just as likely to be awkward or rigid when demanding the appropriate label be applied to a person’s sexual identity. But what does it mean when a person doesn’t fit the 0 or 1 model? What happens when a woman who likes women falls in love with a man, or a man who has always considered himself gay falls for someone transitioning to female? This book is for everyone who feels under-served by “gay” or “straight.”
“The anthology features work from Erika Moen, Ellen Forney, Randall Kirby, Jason Thompson, Kate Leth, Leia Weathington, MariNaomi, Bill Roundy and many more.
The comic artists here are not apologizing; they are exploring, poking, asking questions (that may or may not have answers) of themselves and their readers. As society is largely all about coupling people, we tend to focus on the other half of the relationship, saying “Oh, you’re gay” or “Oh, you’re straight” because partners are one sex or the other. It’s not hard to see how annoying that would be to someone who was neither straight nor gay (or, as NWPress’s buttons say, “wibbly-wobbly sexy-wexy.” Fascinatingly, when Zan Christensen of NWP gave me one of those buttons at TCAF, I received a lot of interesting looks from people. Mostly approving nods…maybe some interest? Lots of people who gave it the ol’ eyebrow wiggle/”me-too” nod. ^_^)
It is clear to me, after reading this book, that “bisexuality” has much less to do with who specifically a person is attracted to and is much more about self-identification.
I called the book “uncomfortable-making,” as well. It was. All of these comics are intensely personal. Like The Big Feminist But, these artists were letting me inside their heads to explore some of their most intimate ideas about themselves. And, like TBFB, there were more questions than answers. Whatever your sexuality, Anything That Loves will pose a few questions that will get you thinking.
It’s an anthology, so everything is variable and personal taste is going to determine whether you like any of it or not.
Overall – 8