The short-lived anthology Island featured great artists producing great work, but one of the stand outs had to be the series of stories by Remy Boydell and Michelle Perez around a young trans sex worker. Beautifully painted, powerfully raw, the stories from Island have been collected along with a number of other stories that have never been published in the new book The Pervert, which is out this week from Image Comics.
The Pervert utilizes a structure and approach that might be more familiar to prose readers accustomed to short story collections following a single character. The book isn’t interested in tackling stories and themes that are common in trans narratives. It is a story about sex work that refuses to glamorize or demonize sex workers and their work. The artistic choices and the way the book is drawn, using mostly anthropomorphized animals, forces the reader to rethink their assumptions of the characters’ gender. It also lends the story, which can be dark and ugly, a certain dreamy quality.
The book can be laugh out loud funny, but also tough to read. It is beautifully drawn, and tackles ugly topics. It is in the end heartbreaking and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since finishing it. I spoke with Remy and Michelle about the book and how they worked.