Kickstarter brings a grab bag of delights sometimes. If there’s a type of comic to be made, it’s a fair bet that someone out there has made it and is doing their darndest to raise enough backing to unleash it on the world, be it with fifty of five thousand copies.
“Being A Girl” is an A4 format collection of strips from the dawn of time itself, or the early Nineties as the young people call it. Artist David Metcalfe-Carr ran a small press comic called “Slices”, and probably doesn’t miss photocopying and stapling whilst posting small ads in Comics International and hoping for enough bites that make it all a little bit worthwhile.
There are five stories spread throughout this 44 page glossy mag (A4 size), plus a few pin ups. The stories all concern Milton Wheeler, a cross dressing man who has an alter ego, Linda Wheeler. The stories chart a period of Milton’s life, and simply tell his story, the story of a straight man who lives a dual life. It can be graphic though not (to me) shocking, and there’s no anti trans violence or anything like that. It’s a success in as much as by the end you feel that you know Milton and also Linda, and even like them. You wish them both the best, whatever life throws at them in the future. You will also Google Molly Ringwald, just to be sure…
This is one of those comics that can speak to anyone, not just those with a vested interest in the subject matter. Metcalfe-Carr’s art (and Paul Barlow’s pencils) is effective, suiting the indie aesthetic well, with clearly defined and very human characters. The scripts really give you a feel for the main character, with the five bite size pieces making a very satisfying whole. It’s interesting that the issues within are pretty much the same nearly thirty years later (despite our pretending to be more enlightened), and the use of “Woke” as an insult shows that many people would still see Milton as some sort of freak, rather than the beautiful, conflicted person he really is.
Myself, I’m your average straight white male, and I thought this was an excellent read, something to make you maybe think a little, a document of a life far removed from mine, but no so far we couldn’t have a beer together and talk about Molly Ringwald (nope, I’m not telling – you’ll just have to read it). Highly recommended.