Many thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an E-Advanced Reader copy of this comic. I was given this in exchange for a fair review.
A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities written by J.R. Zuckerberg, illustrated by Mady G, is exactly what it advertises. It is indeed an easy guide to Queer and Trans Identities. Mady’s illustrations add cuteness and spunk to an otherwise hard topics. Zuckerberg’s writing complements the illustrations wonderfully. The writing makes you feel more like you’re sitting with a group of people listening to someone talk about a topic and answering questions that the group has.
I loved that the author made the decision to use snails to have a conversation instead of people, lightened it up and made it educational without it being like a textbook. The vibrancy of the colors also add to this, using bright pinks, purples, yellow and a variety of blues and greens. As such I would not recommend getting the kindle version of this if you are reading on a device that is only black and white. The light colors make it almost impossible to read in black and white. The usage of a comic format for this was a genius idea. Not only does it make for an easy, comprehensible read, it brings creativity to a topic that is usually spoken about in a more clinical, an apathetic way when it comes to educational material. Again this makes it feel like a casual conversation while still being able to teach the reader.
There was something that confused me, however. There’s a chapter on relationship basics that seems a little strange to be in comic that advertises that it is about Queer and Trans identities. While what it talked about in the chapter is important to be addressed it doesn’t fit into the category of identity. The only way that I can think of this to address this is to change the title from using identities to topics, but, again it is only this chapter that I didn’t find to fit the overall theme.
I glad that this book took some time to explain the reclamation of the word Queer. Back in my day(Ha! I’m only 25.) it was not a positive thing to called Queer. It is hard for me to see this this term used in books as a positive descriptor because of this. Maybe someday I will be able to use it in a nonacademic way but for now it is ingrained in my brain that is derogatory and should not be used. However, it does clear up that the usage of it in the comic is positive because the community has reclaimed the word to make it a positive once again.
A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities is a thoroughly enjoyable comic, that is informative and creative. It is a great start for anyone who is curious about identification in the LGBTQ+ community. Even those who are currently questioning their identity and sexuality will benefit due to the in depth conversations about the different types of people in the broad spectrum of sexuality and identification. This is also a good start for someone who has just come out and has people in their family or social circles that are having a hard time understanding their ‘new’ identity. It is a short and easy read, but stockpiled with information for helping these groups. I highly recommend that anyone picks up this comic.