A short webcomic taking place in Brazil (during the late 90s-2000s), Love, Roxanne by MurkQueen tells the story of twin siblings, one of them a closeted trans woman.
Reader Warning: This review includes discussions about transphobia (violence and misgendering.) If you’re struggling and or currently in a toxic environment/home, please know that there is help. Contact the Trans Lifeline.
Since birth, Aleksandro and his twin seem inseparable. The former protects his twin from bullies and takes the blame for accidents that happen at home. When the two turn 19, however, something has changed. Aleksandro’s sibling hasn’t felt like herself for a long time and comes out to Aleksandro as a trans woman (who later called herself Roxanne). Aleksandro doesn’t take it well and denies the revelation. Their strained relationship leads to a shocking act that changes the course of their lives.
MurkQueen’s short webcomic wonderfully depicts a dynamic relationship between twin siblings. The tension stemming from Roxanne’s coming out and keeping it a secret from her parents drives the story with nuance and sensitivity. Even after reading, I can recall subtle details like a gesture or a certain object. The economical dialogue and smooth transitions add dimension to the narrative.
The external conflict involves Operation Traíra, the conflict between Brazil and Colombian guerrilla troops. The Brazilian army is urging their country’s men to enlist. The creator effortlessly amps up the tension in the first episode by switching between Roxanne coming out and the television blaring the news about the ongoing war. Love, Roxanne unravels a memorable story about the transitions we face and go through.
You can follow MurkQueen on Twitter.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archives!
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) from Mason Jar Press.
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