Charity Case by Malacandrax contains themes of found family and discovering love for yourself and others. It’s a much needed Queer webcomic today.
Julien, a musician, desperately needs money and it’s getting harder to secure gigs these days, even with the help of his Queer elders Jerry and Sylvia. But he can’t rely on charity to pay his rent, so with Jerry and Sylvia’s guidance, he moves to a more affordable place. He now lives with his housemates Marnie and Roman, and as he works on his financial situation, he finds himself falling for Marnie and Roman.
Reading Charity Case feels like dancing: the music wades through an irregular beat, bracing the unexpected highs and lows of the song called life. The webcomic doesn’t skirt around the reality of being a Queer adult. Julien has lost the support of his living family for being himself. He has to make ends meet on his own. Married couple Jerry and Sylvia (Jerry is a cis lesbian, Sylvia a trans lesbian) support him in his time of need, but on the condition that he manages his financial situation.
That leads him to meeting and living with Marnie and Roman, those two being in a romantic relationship. Julien tries to get through his situation, coping with his depression and anxiety, but then he starts developing feelings for both Roman and Marnie.
The queerness in this webcomic doesn’t cater to the cishet gaze. Julien wears makeup even during his gigs. Marnie, Roman, and their friends range from various queer identities and expressions like ace/aro spec, agender, and pansexual. Jerry and Sylvia are seniors, and not only do they mentor Julien on being independent, but they’re as dynamic as the other characters. The polyamorous romance is still simmering, but the romantic and sexual tension between Julien and his housemates is well paced and nuanced.
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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