Summer Reading: LGBTQ Comic Anthology – Anything That Loves

July 26th, 2013

Northwest Press, publisher of The Legend of Bold Riley is once again bringing it, this time with a comic collection that looks at non-binary sexuality, Anything That Loves.

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.

Ratings:

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

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks for the excellent review! I can think of no better compliment for a book like this than it to get you thinking about the topic and challenging you. Hopefully it will encourage people to think differently about sexuality and the value of labels.

    One thing though, NO STRAIGHT LINES, while it was edited by Justin Hall (for whom we published GLAMAZONIA) and features some Northwest Press content, was actually published by the fine folks at Fantagraphics. Credit where credit is due! And they deserve quite a bit for that award-winning collection.

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