Brighton: The Graphic Novel Paperback – 20 Sep 2013
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Trans identities are often neglected, re-written or even erased from formal histories. Brighton Trans*formed features, in their own words, the rich variety of Trans lives in Brighton & Hove today; it preserves previously untold stories for future generations, and is a much-needed exploration into the diversity of gender expression within the city. From young to old, many people question their gender identity, but often have no role models to turn to. This book is important, because if for no other reason, it says, "we were here".
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I was bothered by one story, A Helping Hand, which the authors' notes say was meant to be a "parody" of EC horror comics; unfortunately, these notes do not make it clear enough that the source of the tale is a specific EC story of 1953, Hand of Glory. This isn't the only pointlessly disingenuous part of the book: what looks like a quote from a review on the back is by the designer of the cover, Bryan Talbot, who should know better. I realise the publishers, Queenspark, are a small independent not for profit community project, and they've done good work in the past, but they've been around a long time now.