Mini Reviews: Queer Graphic Novels!

The Avant-Guards, Vol. 1The Avant-Guards, Vol. 1

Author(s):  Carly Usdin + Noah Hayes (Illustrator)

Rating: ★★★★★

Release: September 3, 2019 (Thank you Netgalley +BOOM! Box for providing me a copy in exhange for an honest review!)

Goodreads Summary: When Charlie transfers to the Georgia O’Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics, she struggles to find her feet, but winds up exactly where she belongs…in the school’s (terrible) basketball team.
As a transfer student to the Georgia O’Keeffe College for Arts and Subtle Dramatics, former sports star Charlie is struggling to find her classes, her dorm, and her place amongst a student body full of artists who seem to know exactly where they’re going. When the school’s barely-a-basketball-team unexpectedly attempts to recruit her, Charlie’s adamant that she’s left that life behind…until she’s won over by the charming team captain, Liv, and the ragtag crew she’s managed to assemble. And while Charlie may have left the cut-throat competition in the dust, sinking these hoops may be exactly what she needs to see the person she truly wants to be.
From Carly Usdin (Heavy Vinyl) and artist Noah Hayes (Wet Hot American Summer, Goldie Vance) comes an ensemble comedy series that understands that it’s the person you are off the court that matters most.

Thoughts

Honestly, this book was a bundle of cuteness!  There’s a mixture of characters that all have a unique personality that you can’t help but love. Although this is only the first volume in a hopefully extensive graphic novel series, I connected with both our main character, Charlie, and the team captain+possible love interest, Liv. I especially related to Charlie but she moved colleges due to various of reasons such as mental health and change of career paths, something that I am dealing with today. The art was stunning and quirky which isn’t all surprising since it’s done by the ever so talented artist Noah Hayes, who also drew my favorite graphic novel series, Goldie Vance. Most of the teammates on the college basketball team are of colored AND queer and I am so glad we are adding more intersectionality in graphic novels. There’s also a non-binary character as well. Anxiety is also depicted well in the story. If you love a sporty story (without a whole lot of sporty action), I definitely recommend this series!

Moonstruck, Vol. 1: Magic to Brew (Moonstruck #1)Moonstruck, Vol. 1: Magic to Brew

Author(s):Grace EllisShae Beagle, Kate Leth (Illustrator), Caitlin Quirk (Illustrator) +Clayton Cowles (Illustrator)

Rating:★★★★

Goodreads Summary: Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late.

Thoughts

From the reviews, I was a little hesitant to start this series but I’m glad to say that I am the odd ball out because I absolutely loved it! This world kind of reminds me of a more magical version of Bojack Horseman and I was totally digging it. There are multiple queer characters, persons of color, different gender identities, etc. I actually enjoyed the plot which I think I am also in the minority and there was also a decent villain. I am a barista so I enjoyed that small aspect and there were a lot of funny and “extra” moments that I think anyone can appreciate. The art style also had a “bubbly” and adorable style that I am obsessed with and I really want to read the second volume asap!

Check, Please!: #Hockey, Vol. 1Check, Please!: #Hockey, Vol. 1

Author(s): Ngozi Ukazu

Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Summary: Helloooo, Internet Land. Bitty here! Y’all… I might not be ready for this. I may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It’s nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking. And then, there is Jack—our very attractive but moody captain.
A collection of the first half of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.

Thoughts

For some reason, it didn’t dawn to me that this was made by a black artist!!! Anyways, this story, like the last two mentioned, was charming. The book dealt with topics such as family pressure, coming out and adapting to college life, which I think all newly college kids can relate too. Our main character, Bitty, has a plethora of hobbies such as ice skating/hockey, vlogging, and cooking.  I enjoyed reading from Bitty’s perspective because we see how much empathy he has for his teammates, especially for his captain and mentor, Jack. There were a lot more sports scenes which take getting used to but other than that this was sweet, enchanting and just wholesome.

Sunstone, Vol. 1Sunstone, Vol. 1

Author(s): Stjepan Šejić

Rating:★★★

Goodreads Summary: Lisa’s tastes were always…unique. Longing to be restrained, without restrain. Lisa always felt like something was missing from her love life─until she met Ally. Ally was implacably ordinary─successful job, nice house, an average childhood─except for her preference for bedroom domination. 
Originally posted on DeviantArt, this books collects the first volume of the often erotic, always amusing, and surprisingly heartfelt Sunstone.

Thoughts

Alright, let’s take a break from these endearing reads and let’s talk about BDSM! This is about two women who meet online and both of them are into BDSM. Now, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the art style but overall, I thought this was an entertaining read. It was nice to see that the characters weren’t 100% confident because, in a lot of media, it makes it seem like both parties are always sure of themselves. We see that both characters are hesitant but the sex is always consensual. I will say that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the random guy character because, for me, he had no purpose in the story (maybe it will change in the next volume?). If you are looking for a smutty F|F read, maybe pick this one up. I will say that although the book shows a ton of body parts, it was a lot of fade to black. I am the type of person that I’m with fine with that type of storytelling but if you’re not, just know you won’t be getting the whole nitty gritty. 

Have you read any of these graphic novels? Also, how’s your PRIDE month going? Let me know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Queer Graphic Novels!

  1. omg when I saw the title of this post I so hoped that Check, Please! would be on it!!! I just read that book and was utterly entranced even though I’m not usually a huge fan of graphic novels. It made me want to read more graphic novels and I’ll definitely be adding all of these to my list!

    1. Yay!! Glad you liked check please ! It’s sometimes hard for me to get into graphic novels since I feel like they are super super faced paced with little dialogue. But I’ve been reading them a lot more this year and I’m glad I found some favorites in the process ! I hope you read + enjoy them!

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