Hello precious kittens, it is I, your roaming transgender novelist, come back here for two shakes of a stick to have a book party with you. A book party, you ask? For whom? For what? For Archie, I exclaim back! For our own Archie Bongiovanni, and for this here comic we have on Autostraddle dot com called Grease Bats!
If you haven’t been reading Grease Bats, well go do that first and come back — it’s a comic about a fictional group of queer friends who ride their fictional bicycles around a fictional Minneapolis and who love each other fiercely, nothing fictional about that sweet community love. A full disclosure: I wrote the introduction to the book, so I, of course, unabashedly love it. (You can read the Autostraddle review of the book here.) And I am here to squee with you. Because this has Big Dykes (to watch out for) Energy. Let’s throw a book party for Archie Bongiovanni! Let’s all forum-role-play standing around, drinking champagne and ginger ale at a tiny queer book store packed in, shoulder to shoulder, complementing each other’s green hair, matte lipstick, leather suspenders, spike heels. Whenever Archie figuratively walks by, we will raise our glasses to their triumph, their triumph being, in this specific case, rendering us on the page. All of us. Because that is the magic of Grease Bats: the deft portrayal of a vibrant, messy, human queer community, body and soul, right there in a bound book for us to hold, caress, give to friends and put on our bookshelves. And for this virtual book party, we shall play my favorite Grease Bats related game: Character Sun/Moon/Rising.
Now based on that image (and your reading of Grease Bats), let’s use this to process our sometimes difficult personalities while sipping imaginary drinks and smelling that good good musty book smell. If you’ve not engaged in astrology before, sun signs are like your core identity, moon signs are like your subconscious and emotional state, and rising sign is the mask you present to the world. (Yes, astrologers, I know I’ve reduced it, but we’re two fictional champagne flutes in and this is fun.) Now, which characters represent your Sun, Moon and Rising signs? For me, personally, I’m a Scout sun because of the amount of anxiety I feel and also my deep love for burritos. I’m a Gwen moon, I think, because I am the kind of person who can just walk up to a person and ask them out, and I do like to shout about my sexuality in public places and also in my own head; all of those things are straight-up emotional reactions for me. And I carry that kind of Gwen-personal-parade around in my heart always. And I’m a Taylor rising because I love academia and donuts and I think if you asked most people who know me in physical space, they perceive me as a strange academic golem creature who can talk for two hours about pedagogy and can probably tell you that my favorite donut is the Boston Cream from Stan’s in Chicago because I have definitely on more than one occasion presented my list of favorite donuts, ranked.
Also tell me about your week, because we don’t just talk about books at a book party. We talk about us too. What’s going on with you? What else are you excited to be reading? Watching on TV? What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you since we last talked? Are you excited for Fall?
And the last thing we do at a book party is buy the book if we can afford it — check out Grease Bats on Indiebound to find it at a bookstore near you. If you’re not in a position to spend money on books right now, there are so many ways to support an author at the end of their book party! Doing things like rating Grease Bats on Amazon and Goodreads is so helpful, as is requesting Grease Bats at your local library. And who knows! If you run into Archie Bongiovanni in physical space at an actual bookstore in a building sometime, you might be able to get them to sign it.
Three cheers for Archie! Three cheers for Grease Bats! Three cheers for the Friday Open Thread!
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