This month I am posting a review of a different self-published comic book each day for the rest of the month! Here is an archive of the books reviewed so far!
Today I am featuring Joey Alison Sayers' Just So You Know #1.
Joey Alison Sayers' new book, Just So You Know, is a collection of various stories that take place over the year or so from the point where she decided to transition into a woman in August of 2008 to when the book ends, which is December of 2008.
Sayers does a very nice job capturing the sheer sense of uncertainty that comes with transitioning from a man into a woman. Not the idea of transitioning, but the whole "how will people react to me?" "when will my breasts come in?" - in a lot of ways, transitioning is like an adult version of puberty all over again. And like puberty, once it is over, you end up feeling a lot more at peace with your body.
Sayers' artwork is cute, and she does a nice job of conveying each character's personality, particularly her own, which makes sense, as the book is almost entirely about how her experiences relate to her.
Here's a good bit from early on in her transition when she goes through the dreaded "will they see me as a man or a woman?" bit in the supermarket...
There's an especially great scene later on when "man" and "ma'am" get mixed up. I like how in the latter scene in the bar, Sayers does not hide the fact that yeah, stuff like refusing to use the proper pronoun DO make her irritated.
In fact, one of the more amusing recurring gags is wondering whether/when she will turn into a "bitch."
Here's just a random page from the book...
I think for people who are completely in the dark about transgender people and the notion of transitioning, this could work very nicely as some insight into the concept, but just as a look into the life of a young comic artist, it works well, too.
The best bit is undoubtably the finale of the comic, where we see the slow transformation of Joey's relationship with her girlfriend over six years (from "I'm totally straight, but I like to cross dress" to "I can't pretend that I'm a man anymore") - the girlfriend, Sarah, comes off as extremely awesome.
I'd recommend this book.
You can pick up a copy for $6 (shipping included) from Sayers' web site here.
Joey sent me a copy of Ross sent me a copy of Just So You Know #1 for review. If you would like to participate in the month with your self-published comic, there most likely is still time (depending on how fast you mail out comics). Just check out the Review Copies section to see where to mail a review copy of your comic.