Archie Bongiovanni, the comics artist behind the award-winning hit A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns, explores queerness in the shockingly frank and funny graphic novel Mimosa.
Best friends and chosen family Chris, Elise, Jo, and Alex work hard to keep themselves afloat. Their regular brunches hold them together even as the rest of their lives threaten to fall apart. In an effort to avoid being the oldest gays at the party, the crew decides to put on a new queer event called Grind—specifically for homos in their dirty 30s.
Grind is a welcome distraction from their real problems: after a messy divorce, Chris adjusts to being a single parent while struggling to reconnect to their queer community. Elise is caught between feelings for her boss and the career of her dreams. Jo tries to navigate the murky boundaries of being a supportive friend and taking care of her own needs. And Alex is guarding a secret that might change his friendships forever. While navigating exes at work, physical and mental exhaustion, and drinking way, way too much on weekdays, this chosen family proves that being messy doesn’t always go away with age.
This waggish comics ensemble piece from Bongiovanni (Greasebats) follows a group of 30-something queer and trans friends, weaving together themes of relationships, parenting, conflict, money, and aging. On the eve of Chris's 40th birthday, the group proposes a queer dance night for the over-30 crowd, which "starts at a reasonable time." These bashes, Grind and Grind 2, act as bookends for the characters' dramas. Chris is an isolated single parent who would rather be working on their erotic novel, Butt Bottoms at Dinah Shore. Elise pines for her boss. Jo struggles to balance her youth Queerrr Rock Camp with sex work. Alex, a trans man and apparent starving artist, has a coming-out of sorts when he admits to having a trust fund. The tales are peppered with pitch-perfect moments, as when Chris texts the group chat about their struggles and Jo eye-rollingly replies, "Chris, your stress is so valid," and tosses her phone aside. Cramming in a lot of story lines, Bongiovanni manages to keep up their updated Dykes to Watch Out For wit, with looser-lined character design and a touch more schmaltz. Optimism triumphs (friends make up, Butt Bottoms finds a publisher). It's a lot of fun to read, and will spark reflection on the importance of making room for all of life's transitions.