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Review: Loved & Lost

Loved & Lost

I need love, love to ease my mind/I need to find, find someone to call mine/But mama said/”You can’t hurry love. No, you just have to wait”/She said, “Love don’t come easy
It’s a game of give and take”/You can’t hurry love/No, you just have to wait/You got to trust, give it time
No matter how long it takes/But how many heartaches must I stand/Before I find a love to let me live again?/Right now the only thing that keeps me hangin’ on/When I feel my strength, yeah, it’s almost gone/I remember mama said…

The Supremes – Can’t Hurry Love

I remembered the first time I heard the quoted song above, but it was growing up in my parents’ house. Never did a song sound so sweet, yet it didn’t mean anything to me at the time. It wasn’t until I had my first crush did I actually feel those words. Since then, the song still sounds sweet and mean something now and again but feels that much more when I feel infatuation for that special someone.

Love, on the other hand, is a cruel teacher. As no matter how many times you put yourself out there, and put your heart on the line, sometimes that your heart gets hurt. Nevertheless, most of us persist, because a life without love is no life at all. In an excellent collection of stories from the brilliant creators at A Wave Blue World, we get Loved & Lost, a collection of stories exploring and celebrating the chase and sometimes capture of that elusive feeling.

In the first story, “Status Update”, two people who have been chatting online for months, while on their first in person date suddenly finds themselves at odds when it comes to their dietary habits. In “Freshly Planted Seeds”, a young woman travels to a migrant farm in South America for an Agricultural Outreach Program, where she falls for the Program Director, but whose religious beliefs prevent either of them from going any further than either would like to go. In “Falling In Deep”, while on a deep-water dive, two strangers connect, only to find that a language barrier is their impediment. In “ Team Spirit”, two Knicks attend a game in the Barclays Center to watch their team take on the nets, as two friends commiserate , one friend  takes a punch for the other , and though one of the friends is a lesbian , the love for each is truly unconditional. In “Perfectly Distilled”, a man becomes smitten with a barkeep, as he waits for an online date to show up, one which is less interesting than the conversation he had in the first place. In” Cachet 22”, a couple sours when they realize that their understanding of work life balance is completely different. In” On The Stump”, a politician and his wife have side to their marriage that no one know about and whom their daughter finds out in a way that most kids do, by mistake. In “Thaw”, some old war friends stay connected long after they served, as one friend undermines their relationship, even forsaking his current girlfriend, as one of his friends decides enough is enough and decides to take matters into his own hands. In the last story, ”Swan Song”,  a man reveals what he really is to his wife, but just as he believes he will be leaving her for good, fate has another path for them.

Overall, an exceptional set of stories that explores love and relationships in all of their facets. The stories by Tyler Chin-Tanner, are funny, relatable, and heartfelt. The art by the different artists is as beautiful as the story it goes with. Altogether, a comic anthology that gives readers another vista of the story of love.

Story: Tyler Chin-Tanner
Art: Ryan Alexander-Tanner, James Boyle, Mac Cooper, Jason Copland, Tadd Galusha, Julia Krase, Jeannette Langmead, Robert Ryan and Aysegul Sinav
Story: 10 Art:10 Overall:10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Comics for Choice Anthology

The issue of abortion, has been a hot topic longer than most of us have been alive. It is also very complicated on so many levels. The thing is no matter what side of this issue you accept as right, we all should believe that it is a woman’s choice, whether she should have one. Unfortunately, the die-hard anti-abortionists don’t believe in this idea, and the sad truth is no one and no man should have domain over a woman’s body. In a recently published anthology addressing this subject, Hazel Newlevant, Whit Taylor and OK Fox, and a host of other creators share stories in a Comics For Choice.

In Encountering Abortion Restrictions: From Kenya to Texas MJ Flores and Kat Fajardo, tells MJ’s own distressing story of what lead her to an abortion halfway around the world. In They Call Her Dr. D, Dr. Cynthia Greenlee and Jaz Malone tells Dr. Dorothy Brown’s story, who was Tennessee’s first black woman legislator and pushed one of the first state sponsored pro-abortion bills. In The Outcasts Heidi Williamson and Julia Krase, imagine a future where women’s sexual activities and reproductive health decisions were monitored daily and those who don’t comply, were jailed. In Body & Soul, Science and Religion Kriota Willberg, dives into the whole evolution from conception to birth in painstaking detail.

In Saturday Morning, Benita Ulisano and Laura Martin, shows how pro-life protesters attack people who go to these clinics. In Plan C, Nomi Kane educates readers about a third effective method to avoid pregnancy, that is not as widely known. In October, Kris Louis tells her story and the anxiety, and the loneliness brought it to her. In Bearing Witness, Mick Doran tells her story as an Abortion Doula, and how her work extends beyond the clinic.

Overall, each of these stories I highlighted as well as those I did not are universal, powerful, personal and beautiful. The stories by each of these creators, are deeply affecting, some are heartbreaking, some are relatable, but all are instantly connected. The art by different creators, makes for some visually striking work while at the same time educating the reader. Altogether an excellent anthology that should be read by all, regardless of your political or philosophical ideology.

Story: MJ Flores, Kendra Josie Kirkpatrick, Jennifer Camper, Dr. Cynthia Greenlee, Rickie Solinger, Rachel Wilson, Hallie Jay Pope, Anna Sellheim, Brittany Mostiller, Lindsay Rodriguez, Sam Romero, Candice Russell, Heidi Williamson, Cathy Camper, Kriota Willberg, Katie Brown & Andrew Carl, Benita Ulisano, Steph Kraft Sheley, Nomi Kane & the Plan   C Team, Sarah Mirk, Kris Louis, Emily Lady, Sage Coffey, Rachel Hays, Leah Hayes, Tanya DePass, Tatiana Gill, Mick Moran, Anna Bongiovanni, Daniela Diaz, Renee Bracey Sherman, Jennifer Camper, Michelle Kinsey Bruns, Jensine Eckwall, Yamani Hernandez, Claudia E. Berger, Mallory McMaster, Bree Jordan, CB Hart, Anise Simon, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Vreni
Art: Kat Fajardo, Kendra Josie Kirkpatrick, Jennifer Camper, Jaz Malone, Rachel Merrill, Ally Shwed, Hallie Jay Pope, Anna Sellheim, Lilly Taing, Lucy Haslam, Erin Lux, Laura Lannes, Julia Krase, Jennifer Camper, Kriota Willberg, Ahmara Smith, Laura Martin, Steph Kraft Sheley, Nomi Kane , Sarah Mirk, Kris Louis, Emily Lady, Sage Coffey, Rachel Hays, Leah Hayes, Wren Chavers, Tatiana Gill, Mick Moran, Anna Bongiovanni, Stephanie Rodriguez, Kennedy Tarrell, Katie Fricas, Gianna Meola, Jensine Eckwall, Sharon Rimann, Claudia E. Berger, Kate Kerns, Bree Jordan, CB Hart, Sarah Crowe, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Vreni
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Almost American