Rhea Ewing's Fine: A Comic About Gender, Graphic Novel Debut in April

Rhea Ewing's debut graphic novel Fine: A Comic About Gender will be published by Liveright in Apr 2021, Based on interviews of 56 different people throughout the US, Ewing states that the book resists the urge to oversimplify, and you will find no handy charts or graphs to summarize a person's experience of gender. Instead, FINE explores how people navigate gender in the everyday world.

Rhea Ewing's Fine: A Comic About Gender, Graphic Novel Debut in April
Rhea Ewing's Fine: A Comic About Gender, Graphic Novel Debut in April

FINE is an offer of conversation: a chance to see the world from another's perspective. The answers within the book contradict and compliment each other, inviting the reader to approach the people in their community with compassion, curiosity, and trust.

As Ewing neared college graduation in 2012, they became consumed by the question: What is gender? This obsession sparked a quest in their quiet Midwest town, where they anxiously approached both friends and strangers for interviews to turn into comics. A decade later, their project has exploded into a fantastical and informative portrait of a surprisingly vast community across the US. The interviews took place between 2012 and 2016, and the people interviewed include transgender people and cisgender people… and folks who didn't identify with either term.

Rhea Ewing's Fine: A Comic About Gender, Graphic Novel Debut in April

Questions such as How do you identify? invited deep and honest accounts of adolescence, taking hormones, changing pronouns – and how these experiences can differ depending on culture, race, and religion.

The book is a snapshot in time. Between the start and finish of the project, many interviewees changed the way they would describe their experiences. People came out as trans, adopted new language, or took new steps in their physical transitions. The language in the trans community changed during that time as well; new words were popularized as some phrases fell out of favor in different regions. FINE celebrates the incredible variety and diversity of terms and experiences within the trans community.

Amidst all of this is Ewing's own visceral story growing up in rural Kentucky, grappling with their identity as a teenager, and ultimately finding themself through art and the people around them.

Rhea Ewing's Fine: A Comic About Gender, Graphic Novel Debut in April

This had the potential to be a very exciting debut indeed. The listing of the book reads as follows;

Graphic artist Rhea Ewing celebrates the incredible diversity of experiences within the transgender community with this vibrant and revealing debut. Ewing's debut brings together a decade's worth of interviews about gender, drawn as diverse portraits alongside the cartoonist's own coming-of-age and gender transition saga. For fans of Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and Meg-John Barker's Queer, Fine is an essential graphic memoir about the intricacies of gender identity and expression. As Rhea Ewing neared college graduation in 2012, they became consumed by the question: What is gender? This obsession sparked a quest in their quiet Midwest town, where they anxiously approached both friends and strangers for interviews to turn into comics. A decade later, their project has exploded into a fantastical and informative portrait of a surprisingly vast community spread across the country. Questions such as How do you identify? invited deep and honest accounts of adolescence, taking hormones, changing pronouns―and how these experiences can differ depending on culture, race, and religion. Amidst beautifully rendered scenes emerges Ewing's own visceral story growing up in rural Kentucky, grappling with their identity as a teenager, and ultimately finding themself through art―and by creating something this very fine. Two color throughout

Rhea Ewing's Fine: A Comic About Gender, Graphic Novel Debut in April

Rhea Ewing's Fine: A Comic About Gender, Graphic Novel Debut in April

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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