Growing up in the generation I did, though we thought of ourselves as progressive, we harbored some old-fashioned views. My generation grew up in the 1980s where crack cocaine was king and AIDS was still a taboo. Time and education have done their best to dispel some of that ignorance but many long-held beliefs endure. One of those myths was that anybody who belonged to the LGBTQ community was the most at risk to such health concerns.
As we know I now these views are both dangerous and untrue. Stories told by Armistead Maupin and Ilene Chaikin made their way onto television and eventually into the mainstream where the world watched their stories serializations as they were both eye-opening and contained excellent storytelling. Many writers before them and since them have created a bird’s eye view of worlds they did not know that was right in front of them. One of those creators, Paige Braddock did it with her Jane’s World comic and the good people at Lion Forge has found a way to combine Braddock’s fan mail with some of her best comic strips in Love Letters to Jane’s World.
In the introduction by Howard Cruse, he gloriously fanboys Braddock’s impact on the LGBT community and comics as a medium. In “Amazon Island,” a boat trip leads our protagonist, Jane, and her friend Michelle, to an island full of women, where it turns out to be one fevered dream. In “Close Encounters,” Jane decides to ditch work for a road trip to Memphis, which leads to them out of all places, an alien ship. In “Camp Disaster,” Jane, Ethan and Dixie who has been turned into a chimp, go on a camping trip, one where the band of friends endures one mishap after another. “The Great Trailer Escape,” sees Ethan flies with Jane to pick up a Jeep she purchased on eBay, a trip that makes hers and Ethan’s bond stronger and sparks a possible romance. In “Road Trip,” faces some long lying demons about her current existence, and where she wants to be. In “Quest For Love,” Jane feels the need to find a romantic connection, as her escapades in love leaves her both hopeless and hopeful. In “New Frontier,” Ethan and Jane have a break in their relationship, a respite that proves to be fruitful for both. In the last story I’ll highlight “Fools Rush In,” Jane gives an earnest effort in pouring out of her heart to her one true love, Dorothy, one that leaves these two lovebirds in harmony.
Overall, an important and entertaining collection of stories from a landmark series that not only made an instant impact when it debuted but has earned more fans as time has gone by. The stories by Braddock are funny, heartfelt, true to life, and immensely enjoyable. The art by Braddock is captivating. Altogether, a treasure trove of stories that will make you fall in love with this protagonist and her lovable group of friends.
Story: Paige Braddock Art: Paige Braddock
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy