The last few years have been stellar for independent queer comics. The number of successful Kickstarters is growing and the market is, as well. Shows like Nijicon and Flamecon, and GaymerX prove that the LGBTQ geek market is here to stay.
Even more importantly, now that this is an established market, it’s beginning to mature. We’re looking for stories that go beyond the tropes of “Am I gay? I am gay!” or “But we’re both girls/guys” plot complications. Which is where the anthologies of the last few years have relly stepped up.
Beyond, Alphabet, Valor, Dates, have all taken a look at LGBTQ life and romance outside “coming out,” each with a different focus. Science-fiction, the whole spectrum of sexuality, fairy tales, historical settings, each have gotten an entire volume to explore possibilities, with the help and support of the queer comics audience. And today we’ll look at an anthology that takes a look at queer romance through the lens of the paranormal.
Contributors to this volume are diverse and some of the names are well-known to us here on Okazu – Mildred Louis, Kori Michelle Handwerker, Melanie Gillman, Kate Leth and many others.
I’m not particularly a fan of paranormal romance and short stories are a brutally difficult tool with which to grab an audience – just as they become engaged, the story is over – but nonetheless there were some touching and fun stories, many of which involve ghosts. My two favorite were Terra Verde (and I have to now admit that I have a weakness for lesbian westerns which is a little distressing) and Third Circle Pizza. But there were many other stories that left me with a smile.
Overall – 8
With the stylish cover by Milded Louis and the wide variety of art and storytelling styles inside, I’d consider The Other Side a terrific LGBTQ comic anthology. It’s available in print and digitally through Comixology.