Lise and Andi had too much come up and weren’t able to record this week. They’ll be back next time, but for now, enjoy this rerun episode of Paper Girls, an awesome graphic novel series we loved, and a hint about the topic for the next episode.
Andi and Lise agree that this graphic novel will make your heart fill with love and warm fuzzy-ness. Check, Please! is book 1 in Ngozi Ukazu’s absolutely fabulous comic about a young southern gay man who is a figure skater who goes to college on a hockey scholarship in the Northeast. Book 1 covers his freshman and sophomore years. We absolutely LOVE this graphic novel (like gajillions of other people do) and we love all the warm fuzzies it gave us. This is how we wish the world could be.
Find Ngozi Ukazu at her website.
You can find Check, Please! as a print book all over (libraries and to buy), but you can also read it on Tumblr HERE.
Shout-outs: Lise watched the movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, which is about two Icelandic musicians who are best friends who call their band Fire Saga. Their dream is to be in the Eurovision competition. Stars Will Ferrell and Rachel MacAdams. Andi points out the grim Reddit forum HermanCainAward, but notes that the forum is trying to get people to vaccinate against COVID and also does good works, like raising a bunch of money for vaccines. And that’s really what vaxxing is trying to do—keep you safe so you’ll be around a while for your friends and family.
Andi and Lise simply LOVE the graphic novel Snapdragon by Kat Leyh (published 2020). The main character is Snapdragon (she goes by Snap), a young girl who ends up befriending the town’s alleged witch. It’s a delightful, layered story about outsiders, found family, and finding magic within yourself. POC rep, queer rep (including great butch lesbian rep FINALLY), feminist rep and storylines that blend seamlessly. Lise and Andi read it several times because the story really resonated with them. Kat Leyh is also one of the creative forces (writer and cover artist) behind the series Lumberjanes, which Andi and Lise discussed way back when in episode 6.
Find Kat on Twitter: @kaymlay
Shout-outs: Lise is super-stoked about writing her very first blurb for author Cathy Pegau’s forthcoming release (November!), The Demon Equilibrium, which features kick-ass women and great world-building. The two MCs are demon-hunters and romantic partners as well, but they’ve been separated and must find each other. Andi has started reading the first offering in the latest Star Wars ’verse project, The High Republic. One of the first books is Charles Sproul’s Light of the Jedi. Fun space opera with lots of tension and it’s nice to see the diversity of authors lined up for more of this. High Republic is set 200 years before the Phantom Menace.
Andi and Lise rave the hell out of this amazing first volume of Stan Stanley’s The Hazards of Love, which follows a nonbinary teen, Amparo Uribe, who ends up agreeing to a bargain with a shitty cat that allows the latter to take over the teen’s life and body and sends the now exiled teen’s spirit to Bright World, where they are a seriously marginalized human trying to survive in systems of debt and ever-changing rules that subject them to constant threats. But formerly Amparo (they lost their name when they agreed to the bargain) is working to find a way out. Wonderfully layered, meta-meanings, queer rep, gorgeous artwork and writing, dark humor, and fantastical beasts and Bright World denizens – Stanley explores what it means to be who we are, and what comes to define us.
The first volume collects the first 12 issues of the comic and we can barely stand waiting for the next issues…
Find more info about the volume at Indiebound.
And at Simon & Schuster
Stan Stanley’s website – we’ve heard she’s a devilishly handsome woman of science…
Woo! Andi and Lise do their 99th episode! This week it’s all about the brand new graphic novel, Nubia: Real One, written by the awesome L.L. McKinney and drawn by the equally awesome Robyn Smith. Nubia in DC comics canon is Wonder Woman’s Black twin sister (origin story HERE). Here in McKinney and Smith’s coming-of-age story, Nubia Johnson is an urban teen dealing with issues like police violence against Brown and Black people, racialized misogyny, a deepening crush, and her secret – that she’s a lot stronger than other people. In Real One, Nubia has to deal with all of that, and try to keep her secret hidden so she and her family don’t have to move again. Appropriate for YA and above; this is an excellent imagining of Nubia. Bonus: her guardians are a F/F couple.
For more info:
Extra: Andi mentions Virtuous Con as where she first heard about this graphic novel. Find out more about VC HERE.
Shout-outs! Lise is still working on her bathroom, but she’s also finished up another battle axe for cosplay and she’ll be posting photos! Andi has been finding a weird stress reliever in the game “Tail Gun Charlie,” available as a free app for mobile devices (Android and iOS). World War II tail gunner action against Axis warplanes.
With all the… excitement of the past couple of weeks, Lise and Andi are taking this week off too decompress. Please enjoy this rerun episode of Cosmoknights, a graphic novel by Hannah Templer that they both loved!!
Andi and Lise highly recommend Book 1 of the 2019 web comic-turned full-color graphic novel Cosmoknights, by Hannah Templar and had a blast with it. Great story, intriguing world-building, excellent characters, fabulous art, and awesome queer rep that includes WOC (shout-out to the butch lesbian rep!). This tagline from the website will no doubt make you want to check it out: “For this ragtag band of space gays, liberation means beating the patriarchy at its own game.”
Read the webcomic at the Cosmoknights website.
And buy the graphic novel at all the places!
Shout-outs: Lise would like to acknowledge the deliciousness of maple cream cookies at ALDI and Andi points out the simple fluffy joy of 80s movie Adventures in Babysitting and early 90s movie Clueless.
This week, Andi and Lise waxed philosophical fangirl about the first 2 collected volumes of the comic Rat Queens, put out by Image Comics. First launched in 2013, Andi is horrified that she didn’t look into these sooner and thanks Lise profusely for telling her to get with it and read them already. ComiXology might have the best description of the Rat Queens:
Who are the Rat Queens? A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all gods’ creatures for profit. It’s also a darkly comedic fantasy series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Hobbit Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!
Rat Queens is also full of diverse characters (primary and secondary), kickass women, and LGBTQ rep (it won a GLAAD award), including Betty, one of the queens. Great world-building, awesome characterization, strong writing, explorations of relationships and past baggage – Rat Queens is the shizzle. Give this comic a read and re-read!
Shout-outs: Lise recommends Jodi Taylor’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s books, which are a time traveling historians saga (and Andi will be running out to read) that Taylor insists you NOT call time travel because it’s “about a bunch of disaster-prone historians who investigate major historical events in contemporary time.” And Andi is just about done with Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth (Lise’s recommendation), which is mind-blowing and so much awesome – lesbian necromancers who also do some space travel. I mean. Why would you not want to read that? Also, Andi wants a poster of the cover.
Andi and Lise are way into the first collected volume, “Awakening,” of the multiple award-winning comic series Monstress (Image Comics) by writer Marjorie Liu and artist Sana Takeda, who combines elements of manga and Art-Deco in the portrayal of this grim world wracked by violence, racism, slavery, and war. The protagonist, Maika Halfwolf, is the descendant of a wolf-goddess, but there’s something else inside her that’s older and stronger and it may or may not be key to saving this world, in which most of the world’s human population despises Arcanics – the human/deity hybrids like Maika. The sadistic witch-scientists called the Cumaea may hate them the worst, and they capture Arcanics and run terrible, painful experiments on them.
The world-building in this epic fantasy series includes steampunk and magic and nods to Asian history and culture but also Egyptian mythology as it explores themes of survival and violence, the commodification of mixed-race bodies, and women’s rage and power, and how the latter can corrupt. The world of Monstress is almost entirely female and WOC, to which Andi and Lise say, MORE OF THIS, PLEASE.
Lise also highly recommends the second season of She-Ra, Princesses of Power, streaming on Netflix while Andi is sad about the end of the AMC series Into the Badlands, though she does think it didn’t do justice to its female and queer characters in the end.
Andi and Lise are complete fangirls of the graphic novel (and National Book Award finalist) Nimona, written and drawn by Noelle Stevenson, part of the creative team behind Lumberjanes and currently the showrunner of Netflix’s She-Ra: Princesses of Power.
Stevenson originally posted Nimona as a webcomic while working on her art degree. It was then published in book form by HarperTeen. Nimona is infused with elements of fantasy and science fiction and follows the story of a young woman who wants to be the sidekick/squire to Lord Ballister Blackheart, formerly a staunch enforcer of the law until his best friend blew one of his arms off after which Blackheart began to follow his own moral code. Throw in a shady kingdom with shady officials secretly manufacturing bioweapons along with Nimona’s cloaked and traumatic past, and you have a recipe for a brilliant story that deals with not only larger contexts and the ramifications of choices made, but also the hurt and healing that can come from interpersonal relationships.
Totally appropriate for YA and younger.