Author: Alenka Figa

Chronicles of Fortune by Coco Picard is a Powerful Comic about Grief

Chronicles of Fortune Coco Picard Radiator Comics May 2017 Books are like coffee. Just as all the factors related to how coffee beans grow, blossom, and make their way into a tired drinker’s cup can affect taste, each aspect of creation, distribution, and publishing affects the impact of a book. Chronicles of Fortune by Coco Picard is a perfect example of this idea; each facet of the book’s publication illustrates how, when publishers, distributors, and creators are truly invested in a work, the result will be wonderful. Chronicles is the first book published by Radiator Comics, a Chicago-based distro...

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Ramona Blue: A Sweet Novel about Sexual Fluidity

Ramona Blue Julie Murphy Balzer & Bray/Harperteen May 9, 2017 HarperCollins provided a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have to begin with a confession of bias. I read Julie Murphy’s novel Dumplin’ last year, and I trust her as an author. The synopsis of Ramona Blue dredges up ghosts of bi-erasure and sad queer girls, but despite that, I went in fearless, believing Murphy would deliver something that was, at the very least, respectful. I was not disappointed; in fact, I am overjoyed. Ramona lives in Eulogy, Mississippi, a small town still experiencing...

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Who Would’ve Thought Zines Are So Personal? Reflections and Reviews from Chicago Zine Fest 2017

It would be unfair to write another piece about Chicago Zine Fest (CZF) without admitting bias. I don’t go to a ton of shows because navigating big crowds wears me out very quickly, and while I love meeting creators, I also get nervous and can turn into an awkward mess. However, CZF – and perhaps zine fests in general – have a different feel from other conventions. The subject matter is undoubtedly the cause; zines are often so raw, open and personal that discussing and sharing them also allows people to be more open. Smaller festivals and expos feel...

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Tough, Sweet Animals Survive the Apocalypse in Jen Lee’s Garbage Night

Garbage Night Jen Lee (Writer and Artist) Nobrow Press June 13, 2017 A review copy was provided by the publisher. Imagining what survival will look like in the dystopian future is one thing, but what will it be like for our precious pets? Garbage Night is the second installment in Jen Lee’s series about three anthropomorphic animals surviving a world where all humans seem to have disappeared. Simon was a domesticated dog living with a family, but Cliff and Reynard–a raccoon and deer respectively–are wild animals. However, in the dilapidated suburb where they live, wild versus domesticated doesn’t mean...

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C2E2 Made Diversity Programming Hard to Enjoy

It’s been several years since I went to a convention as big as C2E2, and I have to admit: I was a bit nervous. Massive crowds are not my favorite thing, and I remember walking and walking and being in lines and walking more from the anime conventions I attended in high school. (I bet you have a strong idea of what kind of teen I was after reading that sentence!) Cons are also an exhausting experience for us introverts, which I am sure will surprise no one now that we’ve all taken ten thousand buzzfeed quizzes about our...

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