Updated on 16 October, 2021
Assigned Male to comics fans of all ages is a new webcomic drawn and written by Sophie Labelle. It draws on her own personal experiences as a trans female and woman. The comic, which has been ongoing since October 2021, addresses issues of sexual identity and cultural privilege. It's currently running as an online zine and has received positive reviews from its patrons.
In Assigned Male, Sophie Labelle combines panels from her webcomics with live panels from a Transsexual Support Group. The combination of panels offer an engaging experience for readers while learning about the lives of trans men and women. The live chats allow members of the forum to pose questions and receive answers from fellow members who are members of the trans support group. They can also provide tips and advice for other trans people who want to make their transition easier. In addition, each page in Assigned Male contains a short blurbs about topics of interest to members of the trans community. These snippets give an inside look at life as a crossdresser, how to ask questions of those you love, tips for getting a job as a crossdresser, or general advice about living as a crossdresser.
The comic begins with a foreword written by comedian Mike Myers. It's about thirty years ago when Myers was a young man suffering from severe anxiety after coming out as gay. He was so depressed that he considered suicide but was persuaded by his doctor to try out stand up comedy. The success of this small webcomic compelled him to develop Assigned Male, the first comic strip about a trans guy.
The story is centered on a gay high school boy named Ryan who likes to draw cartoons. One day, while driving to college, Ryan gets into a car accident with another man. When he is taken to the hospital, his doctor tells him that he has two options: To continue being a gay "fag" or to get help to adjust his body to women. He tells his parents, Karen and Lane, about his plan to become a woman.
What happens next is a strange story told through the point of view of Ryan and a Trans Girl. It's about how a Trans Girl becomes a boy, or a boy turns into a girl. This is one of the first trans people depicted in a mainstream media comic book. I don't know if there have been many more. Some people call Assigned Male a comic for boys who love comics, which is about the most accurate term I can use. Assigned Male has been nominated for an Eisner award and the deservedly so.
If you're like me, you probably won't finish this book. I started reading it just for the plot, which is entertaining, but quickly lost interest. I'll admit, I usually do not finish graphic novels. The storyline was engaging enough, but not really my cup of tea. For some people, that might be a good thing.
For others, they find that Assigned Male comics are far too childish. It's probably a tough call, since the cartoon itself is very much intended as funny, but then again, who are we teaching kids about sex anyway? What's next, Walt Disney cartoons? Like that will ever be funny. I'm going to refrain from naming names, but you can probably guess who will be coming up next...
I'm not saying that Assigned Male Comics is bad. Actually, I think it's a pretty great comic. I just don't think that it's one worth buying by the dollar. There are way too many other cartoons out there that are better suited to a younger audience. If your kid is getting a kick out of Sponge Bob Square Pants, why should he pick Assigned Male Comic Book? Besides, it's not like you'll make any money buying them either.