Sep. 5th, 2015

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So, let me fangirl you a thing.

Discord comics by Tab

So, you go on there and there's a range of stories. The stuff at the bottom, Khaos Komics, is the older stuff. It's 8 intersecting stories about a group of people who are all...I'll use queer as a catch-all term for the duration of this blog post, for lack of a better catch-all term. Now, I used to read Khaos when I was a tiny little queer myself.

Growing up where I live, everything is boringly heteronormative and conformist. The fact that I undercut part of my hair over the summer is considered controversial. I self-identified as a lesbian at 16 because your options were being gay, straight or bisexual. (For the record, I currently identify as pan-romantic gray-asexual, though my levels of sexuality have been known to fluctuate. I'm not constitutional incapable like the protagonist of Tab's asexual story but I don't get a lot out of it so most of the time I'd rather just not. Ideally, I'd like maybe a nice poly relationship with a couple who want to cuddle me and have emotional support and exchange silly texts with me but aren't offended that some days I'm always just going to want to stay home and read fanfiction and not see anyone).

So, yeah, personal aside dealt with, I didn't know many queer people growing up. This was about ten years ago and queer representation in the media was this on the ground. We had Willow and Tara and I used to rent "But I'm a cheerleader" from my local video shop (I'm not sure that realise what it was) then smuggle it into the house and watch it again and again until I had to return it.) but my main exposure to other queer people was through fanwork and web comics.

I read Khaos during those awkward teenage years and it's always going to be precious to me becasue of that. I'm a pretty liberal person anyway but it helped shape how I think about the world. It was great, too, becasue it's not just gay and lesbian characters. There are bisexual characters. There are trans characters. And these characters, well, it is a love comic so the main narrative is always going to be the relationships but they often avoid making their entire identity just that they're gay or trans or whatever.

I still adore these comics. I have a full set of the printed Khaos run signed by Tab that I collected over years of going to the conventions. They are lovely. I love Charlie and Jamie's stories the most. I love how they deal with all the issues that come up and how they grow and change as characters and how it's not a fairytale ending but it's great.

When I re-read my trades a few weeks ago I ended up coming to Tab's site and seeing the Shades of A comics, which I wish I'd known about before. Because exploration of gender (including a character who uses they at their pronoun), asexual character who finds love, kinky fuckery (to quote the comic, said in the most loving way by a character referring to their own sexual needs). I just love it! The entire thing just made me warm and fuzzy and it's lovely.

So, you should go and read it. Then support the kickstarter. Because it's good. And becasue it's good. And becasue I find it impossible to talk about these books without writing a mini-autobiography.

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