Review: Everything Is Beautiful and I’m Not Afraid

Everything Is Beautiful, and I’m Not Afraid perfectly captures the feelings of a young sojourner in America as she explores the nuances in searching for a place to belong. Baopu is a monthly serialized comic on Autostraddle, and this book includes beloved fan favorites plus new, never-before-seen comics.

This one-of-a-kind graphic novel explores the poetics of searching for connection, belonging, and identity through the fictional life of a young, queer immigrant. Inspired by the creator’s own experiences as a queer, China-born illustrator living in the United States, Everything Is Beautiful, and I’m Not Afraid has an undeniable memoir quality to its recollection and thought-provoking accounts of what it’s like to navigate the complexities of seeking belonging—mentally and geographically.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this one, but the description made me want to pick it up. When I first dug into it I worried that the art style was too simple compared to the messages within, but I was happily surprised. The art and messages mix and blend perfectly and communicate what the author is expressing perfectly. There’s a number of subjects discussed, in many ways centering around self acceptance but also touching on immigration issues, cultural acceptance, racism and more.

Though the comics are brief they are very poignant and thoughtful. They provide a window to a perspective of someone going through the issues presented. I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Happy reading!

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