cover image The Color of Always: An LGBTQIA+ Love Anthology

The Color of Always: An LGBTQIA+ Love Anthology

Edited by Brent Fisher and Michele Abounader. Wave Blue World, $19.99 paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-949-51824-5

This celebratory graphic novel collection of short stories, edited by contributors Fisher and Abounader, spans myriad genres and styles united by affirming messages about queer identities. Some stories forefront giddy romantic love, as in “Tethered” by Mario Candelaria, Laura Helsby, Jão Canola, and Scott Ewen, in which teens Alex and Jamie tentatively move from exclusively text conversations to talking on the phone. Others, such as “Long Away” by Tilly Bridges, Susan Bridges, and Richard Fairgray, center familial love both supportive and bittersweet, as when a transgender girl travels back in time via a fantastical comics shop to visit her late father, who asserts his unconditional affection for the teen. Self-love is also a common thread, as in Lillian Hochwender and Gabe Martini’s “Sea Change,” a poetic visual spectacle in which old sea maps leading to the ominous Deep serve as a metaphor for gender identity exploration. Full-color and tonal illustrations capture varying moods and aesthetics: Christa Harader and Katie Hicks’s “Leaves” gives Steven Universe vibes, while Priya Saxena and Jenny Fleming render their work “Letting It Fall” in a weathered retro style. Economic storytelling paired with youthful ambiance offer an enjoyable and high-quality sampler plate of queer graphic fiction. Ages 16–up. (June)