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On Loving Women

by Diane Obomsawin

What separates Diane Obomsawin from other contemporary comics creators is her ability to relay complex, often emotionally charged subjects in a clear and accessible manner. Her first book, Kaspar, explored the legend of Kaspar Hauser, a German boy who was raised in absolute isolation, devoid of any human contact. He was released into the outside world at the age of 16, only to be found murdered about a decade or so later. This story has inspired many artists, including filmmaker Werner Herzog. By combining a first-person narrative with simply executed drawings reminiscent of a child’s art, Obomsawin enabled her reader to understand Hauser’s essence.

In her second book, Obomsawin turns to the subject of sexual awakening, again marrying highly stylized art with simple, straightforward personal narratives to bring the matter close to home. The book explores lesbian love, but manages to strike a personal chord regardless of a reader’s sexual orientation, gender, or cultural background. Essentially, Obomsawin takes what could easily be labelled an LGBT point of view and gently converts it into a universal one. Her charming animorphic characters admire each other from afar, hold hands, kiss, and shiver, but most of all they love. They crave emotional connection, the most basic of human needs.

The true strength of this book is its relevance for every type of family, and especially for adolescents. On Loving Women belongs in every high-school library – as a talking point about the universality of love, to say nothing of the versatility of comics art.