Cartoonist Joey Alison Sayers has the talentâ€”critical in comic artâ€”for getting to a point quickly and making a sharply perceptive observation.
Just So You Know #1 gathers together two years of strips about Sayers’ transition from male to female. Hormones, social acceptance, getting a new ID, and coming out to herself and her parents are all dissected on Sayers’ drawing pad. The most poignant strip may be “Freaking Out the Parents.” At a particularly illuminating point in a conversation with her parents, Sayers explains, “I’ve been horribly depressed for as long as I can remember and for a bunch of years I was getting drunk and using drugs as a coping mechanism.” Her parents listen to everything in silence, wearing twin expressions of concern. Their response comes in the last panel: “Wait?! You did drugs?!!” It’s a bittersweet moment.
They aren’t hurling invective, which is good, but they can’t acknowledge what their child is really sharing, and only react to a side issue. Additionally, Sayers slips in some basic facts about the MTF transition process, which is helpful for any library collection. The final page even includes a small glossary to help readers understand, for example, the difference between transgender and transsexual.
Just So You Know #1 is recommended for public and high school libraries. It’s available online through Sayers’ website. Payment is through PayPal.
Reviewed by, Ruth Ann Jones
Special Collections Cataloger
Michigan State University Libraries