Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Other Ever Afters: New Queer Fairy Tales by Melanie Gillman

Other Ever Afters: New Queer Fairy Tales by Melanie Gillman
RH Graphic/Random House
Publication Date: September 20, 2022
ISBN: 9780593303191

A queen who has everything wants to win the heart of a goose girl; a woman falls in love with a mermaid and will have her heart fed to the mermaid’s children after one year; and another woman seeks a mishap from a mysterious being to get out of her arranged marriage. Other Ever Afters: New Queer Fairy Tales presents seven original fairy tales where the traditional happy endings of marriage and wealth are subverted for endings that focus on all types of love.

The unique stories Melanie Gillman presents in their graphic novel have the feel of classic fairy tales even though none of them are adaptations of any particular fairy tale. Instead, the writing elements of fairy tales are used to capture new stories featuring queer protagonists. Some characters find romantic and platonic love in queer relationships, while other stories involve themes of identity, worth, and rejecting the trappings of wealth and power. Melanie Gillman also evokes certain moods for each story with their choice of color, as each story is assigned its own unique palette. 

This collection of new stories will do well in libraries where the Iron Circus anthology Cautionary Fables & Fairy Tales is popular. The gentle, colorful storytelling and LGBTQ+ representation will appeal to fans of The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag and The Tea Dragon Society by K. O’Neill.

—Rachel Johannigmeier

Other Nominated Titles:

  • Home Sick Pilots, vol. 3: Three Chords and the End of the World by Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard (July 26, 2022)
  • Thunderous by M.L. Smoker, Natalie Peeterse and Dale Deforest (April 19, 2022)
  • Witchy, vol. 2 by Ariel Slamet Ries (February 15, 2022)
  • Crush & Lobo by Mariko Tamaki and Amancay Nahuelpan (June 14, 2022)
  • Slip by Marika McCoola and Aatmaja Pandya (June 7, 2022)
  • Adventure Game Comics 1: Leviathan by Jason Shiga (September 13, 2022)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

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Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.