Welcome all, to this week’s Rae’s Recs! This small, weekly comic recommendation posts every Thursday and I’ll be doing my best to bring you some cool titles you may not have noticed on your first go-round on New Comic Book Day! I recommend two of my favorite single issues for the week, one or two graphic novels or trade comics from the past few weeks, and then two all-ages comics. These have no time frame, but are just some really great titles to share with a kiddo, or even an adult, in your life. One ongoing, one completed.
Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy!
Last week, I broke my non-Marvel-or-DC rule to make sure I had a few things to offer. In the interest of not doing that twice in a row, though, I’m afraid that I have to pass on having a pair of singles for you for this week. I like to think that my recommendations mean something because the books here are ones that I believed were really phenomenal. This week, unfortunately, there weren’t any new series outside of those Big Two that I was ready to put my name behind. My apologies, dear readers. If there were any single issues for this week that you thought were truly amazing, please feel free to comment! I’d be happy to read them too!
This week brings us a book that made me, and most people I know who read it, out and out cry. Gengoroh Tagame, known primarily for his hypermasculine gay erotic manga, breaks out of his typical mold with My Brother’s Husband. Here, we meet Yaichi, a single dad in Tokyo raising his young daughter to the best of his ability. After years of radio silence from his estranged twin brother, he meets Mike – his massive Canadian husband. Slowly, we come to understand that while Yaichi doesn’t really see anything wrong with his way of things, his own set of prejudices regarding sexuality may have been what drove he and his brother apart. With the innocence and openness of his daughter, Kana, leading the way, Yaichi begins learning to accept people who are different from him. My Brother’s Husband isn’t one I would necessarily suggest to a brand new manga reader without some warnings. Some pages reflect the artist’s erotic background with some oddly fanservice-y panels and the translation may be hard for readers who aren’t used to things going through a language filter. Still, this book is a heart-wrenching beginning to a tale of learning, mourning, and accepting people for who they are rather than who you think they should be.
This isn’t a surprise on any list of recommended books for all ages. Lumberjanes is one of the most girl-power, friendship-tastic, accepting, adventurous books you’ll find anywhere. Ever. Written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis, illustrated by Brooke Allen, this series is over 6 volumes long already. For some readers, that can be a little daunting, but trust me when I say that it is well worth every turn of the page and the themes you find in it are great for everyone. Beginning with some fun friends doing all the cool stuff any scout gets to do, these Lumberjanes soon discover some strange things going on in the woods by their summer camp. They lean on one another’s strengths to get them through things and celebrate their differences in their friendship. Truly a book for people of all ages, this story will remind both young and old how important friendship can be.
For someone like me, who has been obsessed with Greek mythology from a young age, this book series has been a blessing. Written and drawn by George O’Connor, this series currently encompasses nine of the twelve Olympians. (It’s unclear right now if the series will continue, but rest assured that each book stands easily on it’s own.) Each book, beginning with Zeus, tells a few stories within the mythos of each god. It’s not easy to represent the Greek gods accurately and be kid-friendly, but O’Connor does a great job of relaying the stories. Not only is this a valuable source of cool information, but telling these stories in pictures provides interesting insights and tidbits that one may not get when simply reading them in a text. If you or the kids in your life have any interest in mythology, pick one of these up today. Start the series; I’m sure you will finish it!