Author: Molly Muldoon and illustrated and co-written by Will Hernandez
Publish Date: March 2022
Publisher: Limerence Press (imprint of Oni/Lion Force Publishing)
Catalog ID: ISBN: 978-1620108598
Author website: https://www.passingfair.com/
Additional info: www.willhernandezdraws.com
by Christian Bellmore
A Quick & Easy Guide to Asexuality, a short informational graphic novel written by Molly Muldoon and illustrated and co-written by Will Hernandez, provides a brief introduction to asexuality. The first page states this book is for everyone: “asexual people, folks questioning whether they might be ace (a shortened term for asexual), and anyone hoping to understand more about asexuality from two rad aces” (pg. 5), and I agree with that (with the exception of young children. Teenagers and up for sure though). It also has a list of content warnings, including “stereotypes and tropes…sexual violence, medical discrimination, depression, rejection and invalidation, and general internet nastiness” (pg. 5)—none of which are covered in depth. The book includes a list of recommended reading and website resources.
Asexuality, an umbrella term referring to folks who experience little to no sexual attraction, has gained more awareness over the past few years. It is still often considered an “invisible identity.” Asexuality shouldn’t be confused with aromanticism,
which means experiencing little to no romantic attraction—some people are both, but it’s also possible to be one or the other.
I must be transparent for a moment: I am asexual. That’s the reason I wanted to review A Quick & Easy Guide to Asexuality. I’ve identified as such for years now, so none of the information was new to me. But for anyone looking for a place to start, this is the book. I wish I had something like this when I was figuring things out—everything’s explained in a simple way that’s easy to understand.
The art gives this book a nice personal touch—kind of like a friend explaining asexuality and all its nuances to you instead of an academic paper. It helps that the authors are asexual themselves and included their own personal experiences, such as discrimination from medical professionals and how lack of common knowledge can affect one’s mental health. These things are only discussed briefly, and for the purposes of graphic medicine, I wish they elaborated more; however, as an asexual, I’m thankful they weren’t. I only know what it’s like being asexual, so I’m sure for allosexuals (non-asexual folks) it’s hard to comprehend how often doctors dismiss you or how not being like everyone around you can leave you feeling isolated and broken. But for asexuals who have had these experiences, in depth discussion could be triggering. Based on how short the book’s medical discussion is, I have a feeling this was difficult for Muldoon and Hernandez to write. That being said, I’m glad they brought these topics up at all, since most asexuals have lived through this themselves.
I am a little surprised the authors didn’t talk more about aromanticism—though I suppose that makes sense, since this is the A Quick & Easy Guide to Asexuality, and while the two identities overlap, asexuality and aromanticism are not the same thing. They discuss the difference, but again, not in much detail—and that’s okay. With the cover art including the aromantic and demiromantic flags, I expected a little more about the aromantic spectrum.
Part of me wishes the book went into more depth on these topics, but asexuality is a very complex subject and can get very confusing very fast. A simple informational book is needed, especially for folks who are new to the subject. But either way, I did enjoy A Quick & Easy Guide to Asexuality, and I hope others will find this book helpful!
Christian Bellmore (they/them) recently graduated from Cornell College with a degree in English and art. They’ve been reading comics their entire life and are interested in writing their own someday. Chris is allegedly a human living on Earth.