Looks and Queer Books: Queer Stories Told through Visual Art

A Pride month discussion about the ways that LGBTQ+ stories can be told visually. Featuring a panel including the authors of The Gay Agenda: A Modern Queer History and Handbook, Ashley Molesso and Chessie Needham. We are also joined by Alex Sanchez, author of You Brought Me the Ocean.


Ash + Chess is a stationery company run by Ashley Molesso (she/her) and partner Chess Needham (he/him), who recently came out as trans. Known for using bold, retro color palettes, they create greeting cards and art prints that are sarcastic, edgy, and fun, and often use their artwork to make a political statement.

Alex is the award-winning author of the Rainbow Boys Series. He’s a speaker, editor, and writing mentor, who will be discussing his latest book, the upcoming DC Comics graphic novel, “You Brought Me the Ocean.”

Alex received his master’s in guidance and counseling from Old Dominion University and worked for many years as a youth and family counselor. He was born in Mexico City to parents of German-Mexican and Cuban heritage and now lives in Penfield, New York.


THE GAY AGENDA by Ashley Molesso and Chess Needham
2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and the unofficial start of the modern American gay rights movement. However, the history of the LGBTQ+ community’s fight for justice dates back much farther; indeed, queer writers, industry leaders, and activists have been defying societal norms and expectations since the beginning of recorded history, making vital strides that paved the path little by little for future generations.

Featuring over 100 full-color illustrations, THE GAY AGENDA is equal parts encyclopedia and design book, an inviting and quirkily entertaining guide to the diverse culture and deep-rooted history of the LGBTQ+ community.

Jake Hyde doesn’t swim—not since his dad drowned. Luckily, he lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, in the middle of the desert. Yet, he yearns for the ocean and is determined to go to college on the coast. But leaving home would mean parting from his best friend, Maria, who wants to stay and protect the desert, and breaking from his mom, who encourages him to play it safe.

What power will Jake find when searching for the truth of his identity, and will he accept the consequences of coming out–in more ways than one–to his mom, Maria, and the world?

The voices that shaped LGBTQ+ young adult literature, Lambda Award-winning author Alex Sanchez and New York Times bestselling illustrator Julie Maroh (Blue is the Warmest Color), present a new coming-out romance set against the backdrop of the DC universe.

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