Created by the unfairly talented cousin duo of Jillian (the illustrator) and Mariko (the writer) Tamaki, the same pair who brought us the wonderful graphic novel Skim, This One Summer shifts smoothly between feeling like a cool drink of strawberry lemonade on the beach, the uncomfortable feeling of sand in your shoes, holding hands with someone you love as you lay in the warm sun and finally, the emotional punch that comes when your a kid and you realize that your summer is over and you have to go back to school the next day. This is the kind of book that you want to own and return to every summer, every time you want to be transported back to your childhood or just every time you want to cry.
Being a kid is hard. Being a friend is hard. Being a parent or daughter is hard. Being in relationships is hard. I guess just life is hard. And that truth is beautifully and exquisitely told in This One Summer. But it’s not all difficulty and distress. It’s also a story about friendship, family, overcoming sadness and summer.
This One Summer is about a young teenage girl named Rose and her summer spent at her family’s cabin at Awago Beach. They’ve been going there every summer, and while there, she’s always spent her time with her slightly younger friend Windy. However, this summer is unlike any previous one. Rose’s parents are fighting, Rose knows that they were trying to have another child, but something happened that has driven a wedge between them. Things aren’t so idyllic between Rose and Windy either; their difference in age is starting to show, as Rose is staring to show an interest in boys, while Windy still just wants to have fun and kid around. Plus, she’s starting to take more interest in the older teenagers that work and hang out at the local store and the drama that’s unfolding in their lives.
I absolutely love reading comics about girls growing up and just girls being girls. They’re just the absolute best. For example, in this book, not necessarily a ton of stuff happens plotwise; it’s mainly a character and relationship-driven story, but just seeing Rose and Windy interact with each other and be themselves and grow is wonderful. And these characters are so interesting and so well written that the story never seems to drag on or get boring, even when your just reading about them watching movies on a laptop or walking to the beach.
New Releases (September 17)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10 #7 (Dark Horse)
Shutter #6 (Image)
The Wicked + The Divine #4 (Image)
Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (the one with Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman) (Marvel)
Elektra #6 (Marvel)
Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.
If you have a comic that you’d like to see me review, you can email me at mey [at] autostraddle [dot] com.