Many have felt awkward as they grow into themselves and the pressure, from person experience, can be even higher when you’re visibly femme in any way. Wayward Sister: An Anthology of Monstrous Women seeks to capture that awkwardness and make it a source of power. After an incredibly successful Kickstarter by TO Comix Press, Wayward Sisters is available for pre-order now.
As this is an anthology featuring a long list of female-identifying and non-binary creators, it can sometimes be a little harder to keep the themes consistent but has a strain running through almost every story that keeps everything together: equal parts mysterious, adorable, melancholy, sweet, musing, and most importantly hopeful. That tone is established from the outset with a foreward by Faith Erin Hicks (The War at Ellsemere, Friends with Boys, The Last of Us: American Dreams) speaking about her own experiences.
The majority of the short comics and stories told delve deep into the metaphor of monstrosity to attack it from every angle possible. Some miss the mark a bit, like “Miss Monster” by Stephanie Cooke and Cara McGee, and can be a bit jarring. But others, like “Low Tide” by M. Blankier and Helen Robinson and “Solid Shadows” by Rachel Simons and K. Guillory, drag you right back into the mood flowing through the pages.
The art, writing, coloring, and lettering rarely feels misplaced or a wrong fit with the others here, even on “Date Night” by Allison Bannister, Ronnie Ritchie, Meaghan Carter, and Nikki Powers with a different person on each. It’s obvious a lot of care was put into every bit of this anthology from start to finish to make it as harmonious as (more or less) humanly possible.
This collection of short comics were something I wasn’t expecting to hit me as hard as they did but I’m glad I found and was able to read them. Make sure to pick up a copy for yourself through TO Comix Press or one of their retail partners listed on their site. If you’re not sold, check out a preview with “Zira and the Little Fire” by Katie Shanahan or the full comic “Light Pollution” by iguanamouth.
Story and Art: Aimee Lim, Sam Beck, Megan Kearney, Casandra Grullon, iguanamouth, Saffron Aurora, Elodie Chen, Rachel Simon, K. Guillory, Janice Liu, Cassandra Khaw, C. Ann Gordon, Allison O’Toole, Emmanuelle Chateauneuf, Katie Shanahan, Stephanie Cooke, Cara McGee, Allison Bannister, Ronnie Ritchie, Xavière Daumarie, Michelle Gruppetta, Fleur Sciortino, ZAVKA, Lorena Torres Loaiza, Sabaa Bismil, gillian blekkenhorst, H. Pueyo, Dante L., Laura Neubert, Lea Shepherd, Zoe Maeve, BC Holmes, DEE Williams, Xia Gordon, M. Blankier, Helen Robinson, Mandy James
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0
Recommendation: Perfect for a fan of the supernatural and things that go bump in the night that relates more to the monsters than the would-be heroes, especially if they’re a teen or young adult.