Generations by Flavia Biondi
Content warning: Homophobia from family members, abusive relationships
Flavia Biondi’s graphic novel Generations is a beautiful portrayal of family and accepting yourself even when others don’t. The art style is so clean and detailed and adds so much to the narrative.
The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is that although I enjoyed the story, it felt a bit too slow for my taste and there was no character I could directly relate to. However, it is definitely a book I would recommend to those looking for a quick read.
Some of the content is heavy because the main character, Matteo is kicked out by his father for being gay and goes to live with his extended family after ending a long-term relationship that wasn’t so healthy. Although they are each dealing with personal struggles of their own, Matteo’s grandmother, three aunts, and cousin help bring him out of a depression. As he begins to accept himself and view life with a more positive outlook, he also reconnects with his family and moves on from what he cannot change. Generations is a great graphic novel for those still trying to find themselves.
Photographic by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña
Photographic is absolutely beautiful, and I’m glad I picked it up. Before this book, I had no idea who Graciela Iturbide was. This biographical novel written by Isabel Quintero outlines Iturbide’s life through her own photography and illustrations by Zeke Peña. Choosing to write her biography as a graphic novel was the certainly best option because it does a wonderful job of highlighting her photographs. Additionally, all the illustrations in the book are done in black and white to align with Iturbide’s style of all black and white photography.
After tragedy strikes her family, Iturbide turns to photography as a way to connect herself to the world and make sense of the unknown. Being a woman in Mexico in the mid-1900s presents her with challenges in pursuing her passion, but she never lets that stop her. From her mentorship with Manuel Álvarez Bravo to her travels through North America to photographing the late Frida Kahlo’s house, this book tells you everything you need to know about Graciela Iturbide’s incredible life.
I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You by Yumi Sakugawa
This book is adorable, and I love it! After reading it, I really considered sending this to several of my friends because it’s essentially a love letter to the person you want to be best friends with, and I couldn’t think of a better way to write it than how Yumi Sakugawa does.
The culture we live in puts so much pressure and glory on romantic love that platonic love is often thrown to the side. However, that doesn’t mean that we never get so wrapped up in someone that we just want to spend time with because we think they’re so cool and we desperately want them to want to be friends with us. Sakugawa’s single frame illustrations perfectly summarize the different type of intimacy that platonic love is. It’s sending each other memes and replying to each other’s tweets and exploring the world with your best friend, and I think this is the type of fluffy story we need more of!