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It is Pride Month and I have a duo of graphic literature recommendations, and a few from the crew. First, Éclair – a series of Yuri anthologies.
Yuri is a difficult genre of Japanese literature to discuss because we have a certain expectation that is inherently romantic and sexual. While it is often romantic it is not always so, and yuri stories can take up unexpected forms. Nor is it a romance in the Western sense where it is given that the characters will connect.
While romance as a component of yuri stories is very common, sexual content is actually rare.
Eclair’s first volume, Éclair: A Girl’s Love Anthology That Resonates in Your Heart does an excellent job of demonstrating some of this variability. From the conflicting emotions of Nio Nakatani’s Happiness in the Shape of a Scar to the sexually charged but very chaste Master for 1/365 by Mekimeki to the confusing and satirical Auri Harao’s My Idol.
I don’t think every story is great, but far more is good than bad and if you enjoy it, there are four more volumes in translation, Éclair: Blanche and Éclaire: Bleue, Éclaire: Rouge and Éclaire: Orange.
Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe has been well reviewed and is on many reading lists, but do not let that deter you. It is a raw and frank memoir from a person whose body did not feel natural to them.
As a cis het male who has always been comfortable being what society sees me as, I find those who are genderqueer difficult to understand, especially once you step out of the binary definitions. But by using a memoir at its best – to share the author’s experience – I think Maia Kobabe has brought me closer than I ever have been to understanding.
We have some Resilience Writers whose titles I want to mention as well, starting with three of my own.
Love comes in all forms. An author who is fixated on beautiful women. A lesbian who isn’t sure if her best friend can love her the way she needs. A sapio-sexual with a thing for older men. A picky pan-sexual with a high libido. Even a token straight man.
From the crew we get a tale of a man who loves another man. It isn’t a new plot, but it is when one is a superhero who is trying to keep his domestic life from falling apart. For those of you who enjoy the fantastic, sweet and mundane in one package, C.J. York has you covered.
Meanwhile, in An Afternoon Delight – is she cheating, is there an understanding, just how much flirting will there be before they screw? You have to read to find out.
And finally, my friend Sibley has a story for those of you so far off the scatterplot of sexuality that you need a non-Euclidean dimension. And in that space there be tentacles…