Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer
Comics/Graphic Novels

A Comic Anthology for Pride Month and Beyond

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Patricia Elzie-Tuttle

Contributing Editor

Patricia Elzie-Tuttle is a writer, podcaster, librarian, and information fanatic who appreciates potatoes in every single one of their beautiful iterations. Patricia earned a B.A. in Creative Writing and Musical Theatre from the University of Southern California and an MLIS from San Jose State University. Her weekly newsletter, Enthusiastic Encouragement & Dubious Advice offers self-improvement and mental health advice, essays, and resources that pull from her experience as a queer, Black, & Filipina person existing in the world. She is also doing the same on the Enthusiastic Encouragement & Dubious Advice Podcast. More of her written work can also be found in Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy edited by Kelly Jensen, and, if you’re feeling spicy, in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4 edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Patricia has been a Book Riot contributor since 2016 and is currently co-host of the All the Books! podcast and one of the weekly writers of the Read This Book newsletter. She lives in Oakland, CA on unceded Ohlone land with her wife and a positively alarming amount of books. Find her on her Instagram, Bluesky, and LinkTree.

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that should absolutely be put at the top of your TBR pile. Recommended books will vary across genre and age category and include shiny new books, older books you may have missed, and some classics I suggest finally getting around to. Make space for another pile of books on your floor because here we go!

Today’s pick is a comic anthology relevant for Pride Month and beyond.

Book cover of The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics compiled by The Kao, Min Christensen, and David Daneman

The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics compiled by The Kao, Min Christensen, and David Daneman

This comic anthology features 29 transgender and nonbinary comic artists, each sharing a slice of their individual journeys of stepping into their own authentic selves. The stories in this anthology are vulnerable, encouraging, and diverse. Trans and nonbinary folks are not a monolith, and while some stories may have similarities, each is unique. This collection is a love letter to the trans and nonbinary community. It offers open arms to readers who may be questioning or struggling with their own gender identities as well as an outstretched hand to readers who are pursuing a deeper understanding of trans and nonbinary experiences.

Each comic is quite short, only a handful of pages long or fewer; however, each comic is expressive and meaningful, earnest and heartfelt. Dozens of small journeys take us from dysphoria, discomfort, fear, and confusion to a place of euphoria and at the very least, contentment. Contentment is no small feat, mind you, and the stories in this book are proof that it is possible.

The variety of comics in this anthology is really impressive. Not every story has a fairytale ending or an ending at all. Some folks are still discovering who they are, and that is valid too. Some creators were able to carry parts of their younger selves with them while others needed to completely break free of all they were, including their family and community. Many found new communities, sometimes in unlikely places, and that, too, can be gender-affirming. All of the creators are, of course, incredibly talented, and the artwork for each comic amplified the emotions in a way that only text would not.

This is an excellent anthology that began as a Kickstarter but is now available as an expanded version.

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