Strange Waters is currently being Kickstarted by Arledge Comics, which is a publisher that I have showcased on The Nerdy Girl Express a number of times. They provide diverse LGBTQ+ representation in their books, including one of my favorites Alex Priest. This new anthology was previously being made by Haunted Cosmos Press, but was purchased by Arledge Press because they saw a great deal of potential and wanted to help bring this book to life. This book is made entirely by queer creators and presents 15 stories with a focus on water.
The freedom and mystery present in the main theme of the work allows the contributors to present diverse stories that fall within a variety of genres. Tide Porosity is the first story in the book and is completely without dialogue. It focuses on two female presenting characters, one of whom has hair that continuously drips water. No matter where the two go or what they are doing her hair leaves puddles wherever she goes. With their dates constantly being judged or hindered by other people, one of them works to make sure they can be in public. The art by Dee S. is cute and bubbly and shows a sweet love story. The second story in the book also focuses on two female characters, but one of them is a bit more mermaid like. Naiade, the titular character of the story, is designed a bit like a feminized version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. She mysteriously appeared on a farm during a strange frog filled rain storm and grew to be close friends with the young girl that lived there. They continued to grow closer until they became girlfriends. The story has a surprising little twist and is a wonderful story of romance and love.
Nest, the third story in the book, shows two characters brought together to help care for the eggs of a lost partner. It feels as though both masculine characters were with this female character in some way, whether it was romantic or platonic is never officially mentioned, and they both choose to stay with each other to look after the children she has left behind. In The River Rabbit, we meet a woman who has joined the Cossacks in order to live her life freely and one day while in the woods she meets a river spirit, who was once a timid young woman who found herself doomed to become a wailing spirit. Together though they might be able to find happiness outside of the roles they have been forced into. These stories are all powerful and this is just the start of the book. If you enjoy the mildly fantastical Strange Waters is the perfect read for you. The Kickstarter will be running for about a month more, which gives you plenty of time to contribute and help bring this book to life.