49. Wandering Son
By Shimura Takako. Published in English by Fantagraphics.
Wandering Son is the story of a friendship between a boy who wants to be a girl and a girl who wants to be a boy. Gender reversal is not unheard of in comics, but it’s rarely so sensitively handled. “Transgender characters in comics are usually either a joke (Ranma 1/2), a curse (Sasquatch in Alpha Flight), or at best already firmly established as who they are (Isabella in Paradise Kiss),” said reviewer Greg McElhatton. “That’s part of what makes Wandering Son instantly stand out, as it details two young school-age protagonists who begin to understand their identities and try to figure out what that means for their future. It’s heartbreaking and hopeful, all wrapped up in a compelling narrative.”