The Stack

Grim Anniversary, Good Comics

This Saturday, March 11, marks the three-year anniversary of the day the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The U.S. government has decided the COVID-19 emergency will “end” on May 11, but the truth is more complicated than that. The virus is still out there, as shown by the latest infection numbers as tracked by the CDC.

Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you, let’s sooth the hurt with a few comics that can help you either forget or process the difficulties of the past few years — whatever you prefer at the moment.

Bookish Goods

A set of face masks featuring anime characters

Anime Mask by IMaccessories

These non-medical-grade masks feature more anime characters than you can shake a stick at! $9+

New Releases

In Limbo cover

In Limbo by Deb JJ Lee

Moving to a different country can make it difficult to feel like you belong anywhere. This emotional memoir explores how the creator herself — who left Korea for America as a child — struggled with racism, depression, and loneliness to find where she truly belongs.

Mimosa cover

Mimosa by Archie Bongiovanni

Best friends Elise, Chris, Alex, and Jo are all queer and all in their thirties. In addition to doing the things expected of any friendship group — supporting each other through rough times, providing relationship advice — they decide to start an event called Grind, designed specifically for thirty-something queers like themselves. It’s a fun yet sweet look at how close friendships don’t have to fade with age.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: COVID-19. It’s existed long enough now for there to be comics grappling with the pandemic — and helping us grapple with it, too.

Covid Chronicles cover

Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology by Various Creators

This sweeping anthology collects dozens of stories from diverse comics creators, each of whom tell stories of the pandemic that we can all relate to, from dealing with anger and sadness to learning how to homeschool the kids. Part of the proceeds go to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc).

cover of Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American by Laura Gao; illustration of author standing between bridges in two countries

Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir by a Wuhanese American by Laura Gao

When Laura first moved from China to Texas, none of her new classmates had ever heard of the city she came from, Wuhan — until, of course, the pandemic thrust it into the spotlight in the worst way possible. On top of that, Laura must also come to grips with the fact that she gets far less excited about boys than she does about girls…

Nerd friends, I am begging you to please, please, please be careful. It’s so easy to protect yourself and others — including our most vulnerable, elderly, and disabled citizens — by wearing a mask and getting your booster shots. If you can save someone else through such basic tasks, why wouldn’t you?