Co-created by: Wendy Xu & Suzanne Walker
For ages: YA middle grades (5-8)
Topics Covered: LGBTQ, Asian-American Experience, Magic, Fantasy, Romance, Witchcraft, Growing Up, Parental Death (mentioned, not shown), Ghosts, Family.
This is a cute graphic novel about some witches and a non-binary werewolf, with a dash of romance thrown in! Nova, a teenage witch, lives with her lesbian grandmothers (The Nanas) while she completes her apprenticeship training. The fact that Nova wears hearing aids is a prevalent plot point, bringing a lovely representation to the story and some funny moments (like when her cats decide to jump on her instead of scratching at the door to get her attention). Tam, a non-binary werewolf and an old friend (maaaaybe more?) of Nova’s and is back in town to battle a demon.
Something that I love about this book is the ease in which characters changed their pronoun use for Tam, who had been using different pronouns last time they were in town. It wasn’t a huge emotional scene filled with inner-angst and emotional speeches, it was a statement followed by a quick acknowledgement and immediate change. Yes, folks, it really is that easy. This is the kind of modeling and representation we need in books for young people. Queer love is a beautiful thing, and should be celebrated. Sure, there is some light teasing from The Nanas about Nova and Tam, but it’s more about how they can spend all their time together and blush when they look at each other.
This graphic novel leaves off in a place that leaves the reader wanting a second book to dive into, and we hope one comes our way soon!
About the Author & the Illustrator:
She is the co-creator of “Mooncakes”, a young adult fantasy graphic novel published in 2019 from Lion Forge Comics, and part of it can be read on mooncakescomic.tumblr.com. Her work has been featured on Catapult, Barnes & Noble Sci-fi/Fantasy Blog, and Tor.com, among other places. You can find more art on her instagram: @artofwendyxu or on twitter: @angrygirLcomics
Suzanne Walker is a Chicago-based writer and editor. She is co-creator of the graphic novel Mooncakes (Lion Forge, October 2019) with artist Wendy Xu. Her short fiction has been published in Clarkesworld, and she has published nonfiction articles with Uncanny Magazine, StarTrek.com, Women Write About Comics, and the anthology Barriers and Belonging: Personal Narratives of Disability. She has spoken at numerous conventions on a variety of topics ranging from disability representation in sci-fi/fantasy to the importance of fair compensation for marginalized SF/F creators. You can find her posting pictures of her cat and occasionally yelling about baseball on Twitter: @suzusaur.