Published on August 26th, 2019 | by Chris O'Connor
Wait, What? Comic Review
Summary: When representation matters, a book that covers a diverse range of topics that can be awkward to talk about normally, in a friendly approachable manner... it can be a life saver!
Using a group of supportive friends discussing sex and sexuality and aspects of developing into adults, Wait, What? manages to inform readers without judgement and in a safe and comforting environment. Covering topics that might be too embarrassing to bring up in normal circumstances, preteens and young teens can begin to learn about what they are about to go through or are already starting to go through.
It’s not hard to see the experience behind Heather Corinna’s writing. The way topics are brought up and discussed in Wait, What? is completely non judgmental and very natural. Topics are brought up in a matter of fact manner and shame doesn’t play into things at all. Important topics are covered with grace and compassion and are broached in such a way as to make even the most prudishly raised person feel ok learning about things that might otherwise have been arguably somewhat taboo.
It’s important when creating reference books for younger readers, especially books that might be useful becoming included in educational curriculums, that the imagery be approachable. If depicting the human body it can be less confronting to give the images a slightly more “cartoonish” look… the important physiological aspects can still be clearly presented… but there’s less of a harshness to it… less chance of shocking people or causing unstoppable fits of giggling (ok that will probably still happen). Isabella Rotman has created an approachable group of people that are likely to represent at least a lot of the potential readers… maybe not all… but there’s enough diversity here to show that diversity itself is a good thing and nothing to be ashamed of.
Representation matters and education of important topics matters. To hide our heads in the sand because a topic can be a bit “embarrassing” to talk about, doesn’t help our children who want and in many ways need to know more about that subject. Wait, What? can help bridge that divide between a parent not feeling comfortable discussing a topic, but also not wanting their child to not have any information at all (it’s also important to note that further resources are mentioned so if readers do want to know more but their parents, caregivers aren’t comfortable going into more detail… they can still learn more in a safe environment). I think it’s brilliant that these sorts of books exist and more are coming out. Anything to help young people better understand what growing up involves and the experiences that are before them is a good thing… especially when the topic is covered in such a safe and supportive manner as here. A great book to give your curious child or to add to the school library.
Publisher: Limerence Press
Writer: Heather Corinna
Artist: Isabella Rotman
Colourist: Luke B. Howard
Genre: Reference, Guide
Format: 82pgs, FC, TPB
Release Date: 3rd September, 2019