GENRES/ SUBJECTS: FANTASY-MYTHOLOGY, QUEER, NON-FICTION
Greetings explorers, and welcome to Alphabet Soup Land!
Want to learn about the not-so-invisible Bisexual Unicorn? The secrets of the Asexual Succubus? Or the previously unfathomable fathoms of the Genderqueer Merperson? If so, you‘re in the right place!
Packed full with comics of mythical monster, field notes and information sections; this spotters guide of LGBT* and Queer creatures is the perfect companion for any adventurer.
I picked this up on a whim at a convention and it was a wonderful surprise. Minority Monsters! is a bit like a textbook or guidebook, I guess. It takes each gender and sexual identity, creates a mythological persona and has out intrepid explorer meet with each one. The characters include Captain Sashay the Genderqueer Merperson, Madame Lucie Decline the Asexual Succubus and Baroness Camp Von Glamour the Lesbian Harpy. Obviously each description is very generalised and won’t apply to every single person, but it does a good job of explaining the differences and key points of each identity.
After the comic strip there’s a page of two (with more illustrations) where each identity is broken down and explained in easy-to-follow language, with lots of jokes and humour thrown in. There are diagrams and Common Myths sections wherever needed. As a bonus, the character illustrations are all absolutely adorable and there’s a really cool map of Alphabet Soup Land at the start, including the Aromatic Outcropping, Sappho City, and the Pansexual Pridelands. I found Minority Monsters! to be a really enjoyable read, but I can also see it being really useful for young people or anyone unsure about how they want to identify.
The only problem I have with Minority Monsters! is the section right at the end on the Kinky Cliffs. I know there’s obviously cross-over between the queer and BDSM communities, but the inclusion in this particular book reminded me of the perennial “straight kink-lovers are marginalised and should be included in the queer community” argument–which I despise. Kink isn’t an orientation or identity, and it just felt out of place to me.
Other than that, Minority Monsters! is a beautifully illustrated and brilliantly funny book, which I think everyone should give a read.