cover image Fine: A Comic About Gender

Fine: A Comic About Gender

Rhea Ewing. Liveright, , $21 ISBN 978-1-63149-680-6

In Ewing’s ambitious debut, they conduct and draw dozens of interviews over a decade to chart the murky waters of gender. The scope demonstrates the diversity of experiences and personal relationships to gender within the trans community; some participants hold concrete ideas, while others describe gender and its performance as “loose” and celebrate its contradictions and complexities. Portraits include such folks as Black trans tomboy Monei and Ignacio, a two-spirit person who complicates Ewing’s perspective on race. The author also spotlights cis-identified perspectives and how they’re not spared gender’s social ramifications, either. Each section (titled “Masculinity,” “Expression,” “Body Feelings,” and so forth) opens with an expressionistic, tone-setting splash page, and the portraiture art is clean-lined but nuanced enough to handle the diversity of characters. Ewing’s initial interviews concluded by 2018, and several participants reflect on how their positions may have shifted over the interim. But much of the subject matter is evergreen, such as navigating being trans and a person of color in America, the complicated decisions that often surround hormone therapy, and the problems with how queer communities police themselves. This thought-provoking work will appeal to those seeking a robust, personal exploration of how gender shapes lives. Agent: Anjali Singh, Ayesha Pande Literary. (Apr.)