cover image Chainmail Bikini

Chainmail Bikini

Edited by Hazel Newlevant. Alternative (Consortium, dist.), $20 (204p) ISBN 978-1-5136-0012-3

A cavalcade of talent tackles the intersection of gaming and womanhood in this heartfelt anthology of short, largely autobiographical comics. With pieces on the Sims, Darkstalkers, and live-action roleplaying, no corner of gaming (video or otherwise) is left unexplored—and no aspect of gender, either. Though the depths of the gaming community’s misogyny are plumbed, so too are its joys: first times in the arcade, victory among friends, and the discovery of new talents. Anna Anthropy’s account of Milton Bradley’s Legend of the Crystals is a stirring standout feature, as is Megan Brennan’s ode to gaming’s more quotidian rhythms. Visually, Annie Mok’s visceral, graphite-smeared panels get right to the throbbing heart of a few beloved characters, Diana Nock’s expansive vistas capture the majesty of sword-and-sorcery epics, and Kinoko Evan’s caustic cuteness cherishes childhood competition. This collection is both thought-provoking and it’s entertaining. Debut editor Newlevant brings obscured voices to the fore in this groundbreaking reflection on what promises to be the century’s defining art form. [em](Apr.) [/em]