While it is so often considered taboo and explicit, so much of the world revolves on sex and people’s deepest desires. People are obsessed with the optics of what makes someone sexy. Movies, music, television, books, and comics, all rely on it to make themselves more scintillating. Though the subject still makes us uncomfortable.
The main purpose of sex is for reproduction, while pleasure is simply a byproduct of the act. This concept is somewhat is thought in every sex education, but rarely do they get into the details of the reproductive cycle, not only childbirth, but also child loss, and how thousands of couples try to conceive every year. As the world has evolved, becoming more conscientious of how much the truth matters, the more creators have come forward to make the facts and reality more transparent. In Graphic Reproduction: A Comics Anthology, a bevy of talented writers and artists have come forward to give readers, the unadulterated truth of the reproductive process.
The graphic novel covers a lot of topics. In “Abortion Eve,” the reader follows a young lady scheduled for an abortion as she has a frank conversation about the realities of undergoing the process. In “Not Funny Ha-Ha,” the reader learns of the two types of abortion procedures and what to expect. In “Spooky Womb,” a woman on her 30th birthday realizes her relationship with her womb is tantamount to her well-being. In “Utero: A Cluster of Comics,” Paula Knight examines the many insecurities and challenges women must go through about their bodies, their sexuality, and the reproductive process. In “Present/Perfect,” Jenell Johnson takes the reader through the struggles of deciding to have a child and turmoil connected to each alternative. In “A Significant Loss: The Story Of My Miscarriage,” Endrene Shepherd gives readers an engrossing view of her journey from finding out she was pregnant to her miscarriage followed by her postpartum depression and eventual acceptance of self and situation. “Losing Thomas and Ella: A Father’s Story,” Weaver-Hightower dives into his family’s emotional journey after losing his twins after childbirth. In “Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag,” A.K Summers, the reader gets a front row seat of the struggles being a butch lesbian and being pregnant. In “Pushing Back: A Home Birth Story,” Bethany Doane tells her unique experience with home child birth and what happens after. In “Overwhelmed, Anxious and Angry: Navigating Postpartum Depression,” we follow Dr. Zucker as she talks to different patients about their fights with postpartum depression. In “Anatomy Of A New Mom,” Tyler gives a satirical infographic of the modern mother. In the last story, “Spawn Of Dyke to Watch Out For,” Alison Bechdel tells a hilarious tale of one child birth where a woman undergoes a home birth with the help of some overzealous friends.
Overall, the collection is impressive with creators whose honesty and heart shines through every story. It shows how illuminating personal truths only helps to educate the world. It opens the eyes of readers to make them understand that millions of women deal with this every day. The stories are heartfelt, relevant, and entertaining. The art is warm and engaging. Altogether, it’s both an important teaching tool and a study in empathy.
Editor: Jenell Johnson
Story: Jenell Johnson, Susan Merrill Squier, Joyce Meyer, Lyn Chevli, Paula Knight, Leah Hayes, Endrene Shepherd, Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower, A.K Summers, Bethany Doane, Jessica Zucker, Carol Tyler, Alison Bechdel
Art: Joyce Meyer, Lyn Chevli, Paula Knight, Leah Hayes, Jenell Johnson, Endrene Shepherd, Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower, A.K Summers, Bethany Doane, Ryan Alexander-Tanner, Carol Tyler, Alison Bechdel
Story: 10 Art: 8.6 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy