Goofy webcomic with a lot of queer characters

Becca Schauer is one of my favorite artists to commission. And tonight, I ate too much and feel like a python slowly digesting a grand piano. So I decided to lie on the floor on my stomach, snakelike, and read her entire webcomic so far.

It’s called Fruitloop and Mr. Downbeat, and her description is:

After hitting a bump in the road of life, Danny Lawson ended up moving back to the city where he attended college. His next door neighbor, Alan Taylor, is a senior in high school who falls in love with Danny almost immediately. AND THUS THEY BECAME FRUITLOOP & MR. DOWNBEAT.
(contains boy/boy, girl/girl, foul language, cartoon violence, some sexual themes)

It’s off the wall, irreverent, and worth checking out.

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Target practice

Isaac taught Rivka to swordfight, but he never expected that she’d get so good that he’d fall in love with her. He calls her ‘Mighty One’ as a pet name and they often spar for fun. Here, he’s using his wizard powers to make a strawberry fly around so she can use it for target practice.
Target practiceStrawberry
Like your men older and mysterious and your women to be kickass warriors? Check out The Second Mango, which Isaac and Rivka share with the canon f/f couple under their protection.

Above cartoons drawn on commission by kayaczek.

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There’s a world of difference to me between showing a masculine-presenting woman with an interest exclusively in men in a universe with no canonical queerness and showing a masculine-presenting woman with an interest exclusively in men in a universe where some of the other characters are canonically queer.

The latter is just showing that gender expression doesn’t always match up with sexual orientation the way stereotypes would have us think that they do, but the former is almost mean; it’s like saying “even the women you’d ordinarily consider as subtextual representation are straight! You don’t exist here in any way!”

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Two special people in my life also have blogs

Tof Eklund: genderqueer comics scholar, editor of the “Unconventional” series (Unconventional Dwarf, Unconventional Elf, etc. — volumes of essays intended for the gaming world), and writer of Autumn Harvest

Being a Vet: My best friend/imaginary big sister shares her experiences and insights about, well, just what it says on the tin

 

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Canon femslash and female friendship at a girl’s boarding school for witches

Bluebell Hall by Kayla Bashe is like reading a novelized version of really cute magical girl/shoujo ai anime—if shoujo ai were to be scrubbed clean of “but we’re both girls!” and all the insulting fanservicey boob shots stuff.

It’s the story of Tansy Trilby, a young woman with… dyslexia? or some similar disability, who has trouble reading but whose natural ability to perform magic gets her a spot at Bluebell Hall. Here, she quickly makes friends with all the scholarship girls, a lovable trio with their own interesting backstories, side-plots, and personal adventures. (For example, one of them is a trans girl trying not to get found by her transphobic uncle.)

Meanwhile, a student I can’t help but describe as a female Draco Malfoy seems like a real pill at first, but it turns out there’s something very dark going on in her life. Tansy might be the first good thing that’s ever happened to her.

There were some wonderful turns of phrase in this book, like Tansy telling her father that she’s much too interesting to be “good”, and a bit at the end I don’t want to spoil involving oceans and gardens. Maybe I will send some of these quotes floating around Tumblr with proper attribution later on.

There’s the occasional typo/grammar “thing”, but think of it as Tansy’s presence — she’s a person whose inner beauty and resilience isn’t held back by her textual issues so maybe the book can be a reflection of that.

I thought the plot was really creative, too, and I liked the way there were B plots and C plots all over the place that fleshed out the other girls in the book, not just letting it focus on Tansy and her inevitable romance with her classmate.

Standard disclaimer that this is a book in which no lesbians/otherwise queer women go off with men at the end or are sexually assaulted; I’m almost reluctant to say this because in this case it really is a spoiler but there aren’t any lesbian/otherwise queer women deaths, either. :P There is also no on-screen homophobia, and what transphobia there is, is perpetrated by a villain who is quickly subjugated.

The only other thing I can think of to say is that now I wanna see the anime!

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Passover with Pride

The wizard Isaac and his beloved, Rivka the warrior, protecting their queer loved ones, Queen Shulamit and her partner, Aviva. Across the doorposts and lintel are streaks of the pride rainbow, which are protecting them just as the streaks of lamb’s blood are supposed to protect our people on Passover.
Passover with Pride
These folks are characters from The Second Mango, a fairy tale with Jewish characters and canon femslash available from Prizm Books and Amazon, and its sequel, Climbing the Date Palm (due out July 2014.)

Passover art by Becca Schauer, and yes, Isaac’s caption is a misquote of a line from Torah.

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Quote I learned at Shabbat service

Don’t stop after beating the swords into plowshares, don’t stop!
Go on beating and make musical instruments out of them.
Whoever wants to make war again will have to turn them into plowshares first.

–Yehuda Amichai

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