Comic Crush Saturday: September 2023
Welcome to Comic Crush Saturday, our feature focused on the graphic elements of the book world. Comics became a huge part of my life a few years ago when I started reviewing them (and comic related TV shows) on Forever Young Adult. I’ve maintained a pull list through my local comic shop and even got Kelly to start one ;). You’ll find mini-reviews, what we’ve read recently, and more so check it out!
This week’s Comic Crush features several queer graphic novel and media recs! I know it’s not Pride month anymore but we read queer all year.
Queer Graphic Novel & Media Recs
Everyone is excited that Heartstopper season 2 and Red, White, and Royal Blue recently dropped – hopefully you’ve also seen Nimona, which started as a graphic novel. If not, what are you waiting for?
Cursed Princess Club Vol 1 by LambCat
Cursed Princess Club Volume One: A WEBTOON Unscrolled Graphic Novel (Cursed Princess Club, 1)by LambCat
Meet Gwendolyn – living proof that princesses don’t always have it all. See, although she lives in a castle and her father is the King, Gwendolyn isn’t like a movie princess, or even a fairly-tale princess. She’s got a big heart, but isn’t particularly attractive and doesn’t have a Disney-quality singing voice. But one night, she accidentally stumbles upon the twisted world of the Cursed Princess Club, and her life will never be the same. Hexed and cast out, the ladies of the club are just the people Gwendolyn needs to show her that just because she doesn’t “fit the mold” does not mean she’s any less of a princess.
I absolutely adored this story of princesses that defy the stereotypical beauty and grace we see in Disney stories. This story is a love letter to anyone who doesn’t match their gender norms (and maybe doesn’t even care!). Luckily the cursed princesses are here to affirm that beauty is more than societal standards!
The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Deya Muniz
The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (A Graphic Novel)by Deya Muniz
on May 9, 2023
A funny, heartfelt YA romance about finding love—and lots of grilled cheese sandwiches—in the place you least expect it, from rising talent Deya Muniz.
Lady Camembert wants to live life on her own terms, without marriage. Well, without marrying a man, that is. But the law of the land is that women cannot inherit. So when her father passes away, she does the only thing she can: She disguises herself as a man and moves to the capital city of the Kingdom of Fromage to start over as Count Camembert. But it’s hard to keep a low profile when the beautiful Princess Brie, with her fierce activism and great sense of fashion, catches her attention. Camembert can’t resist getting to know the princess, but as the two grow closer, will she able to keep her secret? A romantic comedy about mistaken identity, true love, and lots of grilled cheese.
Fans of The Prince and the Dressmaker and Aladdin will eat this one up (pun intended LOL). The ratio of cheese puns to story is excellent and the love story is sure to toast your heart.
If You’ll Have Me by Eunnie
If You'll Have Meby Eunnie
on October 17, 2023
“Incredibly charming . . . There’s joy, delight, and absolutely unrestrained romantic sweetness on every page. I love it to bits!” —TRUNG LE NGUYEN, author of the Eisner Award nominee The Magic Fish
Momo Gardner is the kind of friend who’s always ready to lend a helping hand. She’s introverted, sensitive, and maybe a little too trusting, but she likes to believe the best in people. PG, on the other hand, is a bit of a lone wolf, despite her reputation for being a flirt and a player. Underneath all that cool mystery, she’s actually quick to smile, and when she falls for someone, she falls hard. An unexpected meet-cute brings the two together, kicking off the beginning of an awkward yet endearing courtship—but with their drastically different personalities, Momo’s overprotective friend, and PG’s past coming back to haunt her, Momo and PG’s romance is put to the test.
Momo and PG 4 LIFE. Oh my gosh I love these two and we need the Heartstopper treatment for them. This is a college age story, which is refreshing for a YA graphic novel. The art is adorable and engaging. Fans of Imogen, Obviously will love this!
Other Things I’ve Been Reading & News
Hungry Ghost by Victoria Ying
Hungry Ghostby Victoria Ying
on April 25, 2023
Calista Brill at First Second has acquired, at auction, Victoria Ying's YA contemporary graphic novel, Hungry Ghost. The book follows Valerie Chu as she grows up with an eating disorder in her Chinese-American family, navigates great loss, and ultimately comes to terms with how sometimes those you love most can hurt you most.
Hungry Ghost is the kind of story that makes you want to give the MC a hug. The story takes the dangerous messaging about bodies and beauty standards that can come from even the most well-intentioned parents and combines it with the complicated feelings of grief. The author notes this story is deeply personal – and most readers will see that purely by the passion and care in the story.
Everything is Fine Vol 1 by Mike Birchall
Everything is Fine Volume One: A WEBTOON Unscrolled Graphic Novel (Everything is Fine, 1)by Mike Birchall
Perfectly normal couple Sam and Maggie live in a perfectly normal neighborhood, with their perfectly normal dog Winston. All the houses look the same. The people sound and look the same. On the outside, everything is fine. But is it? Winston, their sweet dog, has been dead for some time now, and Sam and Maggie begin to struggle to keep up the facade of their idyllic suburban life.
The mystery continues as the couple, despite being as “fine” as they can be, reckon with heavy surveillance by outside cameras, and question their every decision. While both emotionally repressed and eerily disconnected, Sam and Maggie are one wrong move away from something much more sinister.
Their neighbor, Charlie, catches on to this strange and manipulative force and attempts to escape from the watchful eyes of those in power, starting Sam and Maggie on a path of resistance. But rebels are heavily punished in this society, and deemed “red-status” — swiftly erased from memory. What happens when everything isn’t fine?
This volume collects episodes 1–16 of the WEBTOON comic Everything Is Fine.
This graphic novel reminded me of Don’t Worry Darling and The Stepford Wives in the best way! I’ve never wanted a second volume more than when I finished this. Go in with no info and PROFIT.
What to Read This Fall
Kelly and I have an upcoming spooky season post planned but there’s a lot more on the fall calendar than what falls under the season of scare. Check out upcoming YA graphic novels and comics here!