Lemonade Summer by Gabi Mendez and published by Cowhouse Press is a collection of coming-of-age short comics about LGBTQ and non-binary youths exploring queer identities and going on grand adventures together. Ranging from children to teens, they learn to use pronouns, learn to support each other, grow together, find and create their own communities. The anthology is aimed at giving children, adolescents, and teens positive LGBTQ and non-binary narratives.

Lemonade Summer is a fantastically inclusive, light-hearted anthology comic, that I am simply in love with. Each comic focuses on small moments and relationships and gives you a sense of comfort. The art style is fairly simple, with a monochromatic color scheme, but that only adds depth to each scene, instantly focusing your eye on the star of each panel. What really speaks volumes is the inclusivity of each story. I am always looking for stories that portray LGBTQ characters in situations that aren’t just about them being LGBTQ without erasing their queerness. Lemonade Summer accomplishes that wonderfully. Whether it’s genderfluid pirates, or sapphic roller skaters each story shines on its own, but in the collection, they create a heartwarming and sometimes connected anthology.  

About Lemonade Summer:

Lemonade Summer by Gabi Mendez is an all-ages graphic novel about queer children, adolescents, teens, and young adults coming of age in positive environments and finding supportive communities. The book is 136 pages with full-color soft-cover and chapter covers. Each story is a monochromatic color scheme mirroring the sun from noon to dusk, reflecting the characters’ growth in the book. The stories feature young, queer characters who grapple with the conflicts of their own worlds.

About Gabi Mendez:

Gabi Mendez is a west coast artist who studied art-making in Chicago, Illinois before moving onwards to Savannah, GA. In warmer weather, she continues to make comics featuring friendship, misadventures, and the absurd experience of growing up. She makes a lot of silly comics, says “dude” too much, and just wants everyone to feel included.

Art- 1-Star

Editing- 1-Star

Dialogue- 1-Star

Mechanics- ½ Star (there’s a few times where its hard to tell whos speaking or what panel comes next)

Story- 1-Star

Find Lemonade Summer and other Cow House Press books at https://www.cowhousepress.com/