Mini Reviews: JAN 2020 Graphic Novels

Hello darlings!

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting lately and I’m sorry for that umprompted break but I had some personal stuff to deal with my brother had a surgery and my anxiety went into an override. He’s okay and it wasn’t anything super serious — I’m just a chronic worrier.

I haven’t been posting many reviews since November too so today I have four for you. 

Those are all the graphic novels I’ve read for NetGalley and Edelweiss this month and I’m thinking of posting some audiobooks reviews soon as well since I’ve listened to a bunch of them this month.

goodreads-add-e1547065951898The Avant-Guards, Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin, Noah Hayes


★★★★☆ || Funny and fresh story about a bunch of art students playing basketball!

42201523From the casual queer & PoC representation to the basketball emotions this story was a blast!

There were lots of obstacles to get this team going but the organisation goddess Liv never gave up and if she needs to stalk the grumpy transfer student Charlie she will do it. She’s sure she can convince her and, hey, if she flirts with her while at it, who’s to judge?

But the cute f/f romance is not the only good thing about this comic book! (Nor is it the only queer content present.) The team building is a great ground for the potential found family. The banter and the friendship between the players are amazing. The dialogue feels genuine and like I could overhear it at an actual uni.

AND BASKETBALL WAS FUN!! Sure, they played to win but also the fun and the team went first. And isn’t that good to see in the anxiety-ridden world?

The next three reviews will come from the same series. You can read my review of the first volume here:

goodreads-add-e1547065951898Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare, Vol. 2 by Yuhki Kamatani


★★★,5☆ | “You can tell me anything. I won’t–“


This volume was more focused on trans issues but since it’s still mostly from a gay cis MC’s POV the impact was kind of not the same.

I still loved the community though and trying to understand other people even though it’s not always possible because you need to give them time to understand themselves first.

There’s also a prevalent theme of putting off making a decision in fear that this will be final and you will have to settle for whatever your choice is. Like every choice is closing a certain door instead of making a room for experimentation.

I enjoyed that bit because I also have a hard time making choices and treat them as something that must lead to this perfect outcome and not a part of my journey.

Anyway, the next time you hear someone being homophobic attack them with a cat.

goodreads-add-e1547065951898Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare, Vol. 3 by Yuhki Kamatani


★★★★☆ | “You can tell me anything. But I’m not gonna ask”

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I liked this one more than the last.

It explores the complexity of good intentions not always being enough and the importance of not speaking over the marginalised people. About some ‘allies’ just wanting to claim higher moral ground and not actually trying to understand us.

But it’s also about standing up for yourself and your community. About saying ‘that’s enough.’ About being there for each other.

There’s some internalised homophobia making an attendance with Tsubaki as well and other nuance — things being trapped in self-hate so much you end up hurting others and yourself.

goodreads-add-e1547065951898Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare Vol. 4 by Yuhki Kamatani


★★★★★ | “Want me to tell you something about me? Although you don’t have to listen.”

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Wow, this one really hit me.

I’m glad everyone got a happy ending, even though in some cases it wasn’t a conventional happy ending.

They got to know themselves better. They let themselves be vulnerable. They stood up for each other.

They realised their mistakes and worked on making amends.

Also! There were so many tear-wrenching moments but they didn’t feel overwhelmingly sad. It was more like a summer rain or nostalgia or having someone hold you while you’re crying.

This manga has this gift of making you think there’s still happiness in the world even if bad things are happening. That you’re not alone. That you can be brave and smile.

And that’s real power.


  • Have you read those? Do you plan to?
  • What graphic novels have you read lately?


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8 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: JAN 2020 Graphic Novels

  1. I loved The Avant-Guards when I read it last year. The story was fun and the friendships were sweet, and I adored the artwork! 😍 I’m really curious about Our Dreams at Dusk now. The covers are attractive and the story sounds really interesting so I’ll be on the look out for these. Great reviews, E!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s all so heartwarming!! I wish my uni experiences were like that lol.
      Our Dreams at Dusk is amazing! Kind of melancholic but in a positive way? Like the time just before spring or seeing the promise of sunshine after weeks of rain. Thank you, Dini!! ❤


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