Today, it was announced that Dylan Edwards' nonfiction graphic novel Transposes, which explores the life stories of seven transgender men who also happen to be gay, bisexual, or otherwise non-straight—has been honored with a nomination for a Lambda Literary Award in the category of Transgender Nonfiction.
Transposes is an amazing window into the lives of these men, both the major events in their lives and the day-to-day ones, and paints a wonderfully human portrait. The book features a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Alison Bechdel, who was also nominated for a Lambda for her memoir Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama in the category of Lesbian Memoir/Biography.
“Back when I first started making comics in 2000,” said Edwards, “I sent a few of my creations to Alison Behcel. I was a big fan of her work, and was seeking advice on how to advance my comics career. She did me the honor of writing me back, said she enjoyed my work, and told me to get a blurb from the most famous person I knew. ‘Ahem,’ I said.”
“Fast forward a few years, and Alison's book Fun Home had become a huge success," Edwards continued. “Beacon Press contacted Alison for recommendations of cartoonists who might be interested in creating original non-fiction graphic works, and she pointed them to me. Together, Beacon's editors and I came up with the idea for a book about queer-identified female-to-male transgender men. Although Beacon unfortunately had to close their graphic book department, I still benefited greatly from the insights offered by their editors, and their work unquestionably made Transposes a stronger book. I approached Zan Christensen of Northwest Press to see if he'd be interested in picking up the book. He agreed, and here we are.”
“The Lambda nomination is definitely very exciting,” said Edwards. “It's the first time my comics have been nominated for an award, and for my first one to be as prestigious as the Lambda Literary Awards is very thrilling. I think they make us fight in a pit to determine the winner? Or maybe I'm thinking of something else. I'll be sure to wear my spiky armor to the ceremony just in case.”
“Transposes took me four years to create, but it won't take you four years to read,” Edwards jokes. “You can probably finish it in one sitting. You'll get to meet seven real men who generously shared their life stories with me so I could share them with you in the form of cartoon vignettes. The comics medium allows you to watch as their physical appearance changes, and allows a certain freedom from the burden that pronouns can impose on the life stories of transpeople. Whether you're reading to learn about this specific topic, or looking for reflections of yourself in the culture, I hope you enjoy what you find in Transposes.”
Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama follows up the literary phenomenon of her graphic novel Fun Home, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time.
Justin Hall's No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in the category of LGBT Anthology. Queer cartooning has been one of the most vibrant artistic and countercultural movements of the past 40 years, tackling complex issues of identity and changing social mores with intelligence, humor, and an irreverent imagination. No Straight Lines is the most definitive collection to date of this material, showcasing everything from lesbian underground comix, to gay newspaper strips, to bi punk zines, to trans webcomics. It features the work of the pioneers, second wave and more recent creators such as Trina Robbins, Howard Cruse, Lee Mars, Burton Clarke, Mary Wings, Robert Triptow, Robert Kirby, Craig Bostick, Ivan Velez, Jr, Ruppert Kinnard, Joan Hilty, David Kelly, Joey Alison Sayers, Annie Murphy, Edie Fake, Ellen Forney, Justin Hall, Dylan Edwards, Rick Worley, and Paige Braddock, among many many others.
Transposes is 128 pages, retails for $19.99 and is published by Northwest Press, which publishes graphic novels and comics collections by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender comics creators (the book is available to retailers direct from the publisher--50% discount, shipping paid for orders of 5 or more--as well as through Diamond Comic Distributors using item #JUL121168.) Northwest Press books are also available through Prerogatives/Pride Catalog, Last Gasp, and Bulldog Books (Australia).
Both Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama and Justin Hall's No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics are available at Amazon and booksellers everywhere.
For a full listing of the Lambda Literary Award nominees, go here.
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