Moonstruck Vol. 1: Magic to Brew by Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle, and Kate Leth
Image Comics, March 2018
Plot Summary: Curvy, queer, bi-racial werewolf Julie would love nothing more than to go on her date with fellow werewolf Selena and not ‘wolf out’. Unfortunately, when her centaur bestie Chet tags along on her date, everything goes haywire, including the transformation of Chet into a human! With a crazed magician on the loose and a horse rump to find, the gang is thrown into a magical mystery that Julie’s new love life might not survive.
Shae Beagle’s dreamy art style perfectly captures a variety of body shapes and multiracial characters. The color work is gorgeous and sets the tone for a story that’s love-cute meets the supernatural.
Queer Rep: You probably best know Grace Ellis from her work on the queer friendly Lumberjanes, but with Moonstruck, she has crafted a book that can play to older audiences. There is a plethora of representation for teenagers to find themselves in. Main characters Selena and Julie identify as queer, and don’t forget Chet the non-binary centaur.
Julie and Selena don’t question their sexuality; they love who they love, which allows the book to focus on the development of their relationship. Kudos for not making their budding connection perfect. Both struggle with the fact that they are different people (or werewolves, as it were), with different beliefs and needs.
Chet’s gender identity is also presented without questions or complications; they’re a character who happens to be non-binary. While Chet spends the majority of the book focused on finding their magical butt, they do also find time to pine for the broad-shouldered, beautiful Manuel.
This book brings us the fun of being queer and finding love alongside the wonder of the supernatural.
Final Word: This book is so much fun, which may actually work against it. It lacks the gravitas of books like Melanie Gillman’s As the Crow Flies and Kabi Nagata’s My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness. It’s hard for me to see the committee looking past its colorful exterior and seeing the value of its very wonderful inclusiveness, even if ideally they would.
Our guest blogger today is Angela Ocana. Angela (she/her) is a fierce queer Latina, not to mention a saucy and sassy Teen Services Supervisor for Eugene Public Library.