GRAPHIC NOVELS

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Dark Horse Aug. 2023. 144p. tr. from Spanish by Silvia Perea Labayen. ISBN 9781506734187. pap. $19.99. MEMOIR
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Upon seeing a transgender actress depicted as a regular person rather than a joke, Soler’s boyfriend of seven years confesses to feeling like a woman instead of a man. But what now? A twentysomething Spanish cartoonist, Soler (Plants vs. Zombies) and her partner retreat from the shock for several years until the aspiring creator gets her first real job. Now both are ready, turning Diana’s transition into a mutual growth project that Soler journals through social media posts and a short fanzine. Family and friends’ reactions, considerations about hormones and surgery, Soler recognizing her own bisexuality, Diana’s choosing pronouns and getting her name changed—all these facts lend the graphic novel the air of a friendly guidebook for other trans or trans-curious people and those who love them. Especially striking is Diana’s experiencing such new challenges as donning pantyhose, dealing with pushy come-ons from men, and being mansplained in videogames and tabletop gaming. The book’s cute chibi-esque art in blues and pinks makes the story friendly as well as approachable. A glossary appears at the end.
VERDICT This charming, even humorous chronicle of a journey fraught with immense complications will be welcomed by romance lovers as well as those looking for information about trans matters. An empathic adventure for teens and adults.
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