cover image Juicy Mother 2: How They Met

Juicy Mother 2: How They Met

. Manic D Press, $14.95 (159pp) ISBN 978-1-933149-20-2

This anthology of gay and lesbian cartoonists returns with an added thematic component, taking on various “how we met” stories. Like the first installment, this one is uneven, but includes several strong entries. Some of the best are from accomplished cartoonists. Leanne Franson’s “Under New Management” combines breezy line work with a vaguely discomfiting romantic triangle to good effect, and Joan Hilty’s “Zion” uses rough, kinetic inks to depict the sexual awakening of a young Mormon lesbian without needless self-indulgence. Newer artists also make strong contributions. David Hooper displays a strong grasp of some difficult formal techniques in his club-hopping story “What Choice Do I Have.” Jamaica Dyer overlays an honest voice, delicate pencils and gray wash to tell an inspiring story of reconnecting with a childhood sweetheart in “Devan + Alix.” And Lawrence Schimel and Sara Rojo Perez use children’s book illustration techniques to offer a knowing, funny look at the adopted children of gay parents. Even the lesser entries offer something for the reader, although given her strong entry in the first volume (not to mention her award-winning graphic novel Fun Home ), Alison Bechdel’s absence from everything but a volume-ending cartoon jam is conspicuous. (Jan.)