Books Uncategorized

Sharing the Bisexual Experience

As I write this, I think this is the first time I am writing an article where I am open about my bisexuality.

This was something I realized as a teenager, but I went back inside the closet thinking that maybe it was just a phase. It wasn’t until last year that I slowly acknowledged it and it’s been an interesting journey. One of the things that I’ve been doing is obsessively looking up famous bisexual people. I went to sites like or the Wikipedia database to look for people who were bi like me. I looked for stories with bisexual characters. I looked for resources on the doubts I had about myself. 

So when I heard about Bi Visibility: A Bisexual Anthology, I wanted to read it. Created by Kat Calamia, whose reviews I used to read voraciously on Newsarama, it promised a selection of bi-themed stories, ranging from the mundane to the more fantastical. And while I will admit that I was ambivalent about the anthology, as I felt the stories may not be something I find relatable, I was wrong.

Credit: Kathryn Calamia/Taylor Esposito/Dominic Bustamante

Ever since I came out as bisexual, I struggle with the notion that I am not someone worthy of that space. I was unsure as to whether I conform to certain ideas of how a bisexual person, or in this case, a brown bisexual person like me, should be in terms of what their tastes are. By the end of the day, I realized that it doesn’t really matter how I present myself; what matters is that I should be the best version of myself. As silly as that may sound, it is true. There is no singular vision of bisexuality and that’s the intention behind the anthology; to show the identity as one that is multifaceted.  

An anthology works best with the range of stories being told and Bi Visibility follows that. The anthology doesn’t just rely on the identity of having that range; the stories are excellent in how they tackle certain aspects of bisexuality with a reassuring honesty, centered around relatable situations. While I haven’t been in the situations presented in the stories in a literal sense, I have grappled with the questions that the stories deal with. And while I find all of the stories to be well-written, there were two stories that felt personal to me; “LGBTQ-RPG” and “The Bi Card.”

Credit: Jimmy Gaspero/Beck Kubrick/Taylor Esposito

What I appreciated about the aforementioned stories is that there is a whimsical feel to them. I won’t get into the details, but what I appreciated is how writers Jimmy Gaspero (“LGBTQ-RPG”) and Hailey Rose-Lyon (“The Bi Card”) used the premise to delve into those truths about bisexuality. And I know that there’s the temptation to read the scenes and reiterate that the themes of the story are commonplace and that everyone knows the “solution” to the questions about bisexuality that the stories address, but I think that’s why it works. Because while I like to think that I am familiar enough with my identity to talk about it, I am also aware of the fact that I still have a lot to learn. Even if I may know the “answers” in these stories, that doesn’t necessarily take away from the enjoyment and the feeling of reassurance I got from them. And I can imagine that for someone who’s struggling with their identity, these stories have a lot of value. 

Credit: Haley Rose-Lyon/Eileen Widjaja/Taylor Esposito

In terms of the aesthetic, or the “look,” I think the stories look beautiful. In accommodation with the wide range of stories being told here, the artwork is clean and crisp. Having a different artist on each story solidifies the individuality of each of the stories being told here, whether that be the cartoony fantasy book-esque aspect of Beck Kubrick’s art in “LGBTQ-RPG,” or Sarah Stern’s colors with Phillip Sevy’s artwork in “My Voice” (another excellent story), which gives it an almost pulpy sci-fi feel. This harkens back to my aforementioned point about bisexuality being multifaceted. In other words, I think it’s a good presentation of the intricacies and the nuances of the “bisexual experience.” 

Of course, with the range of stories about bisexual people, there is an umbrella that unites all of them and that would be Taylor Esposito’s lettering. Regardless of the story being told, there is always a consistency to it that fits the story. It’s adaptable and it’s readable without compromising on its style. In a way, the lettering is almost symbolic of the collective aspect of the bisexual experience; it’s a space where people like me can share our stories and we’re united by our identity. 

And finally, while I do wish there were more stories being told because there’s a vast potential to explore further aspects of bisexuality, I am also aware of the fact that this is an unfair criticism, as it is not up to a set of people or one person to tell such a story, as that would be impossible. This anthology has done more than enough to provide readers with a wide variety of stories that address the bisexual experience and it speaks to a need in the comics industry, and perhaps the media industry as a whole, to have more stories about bisexuality. 

Because we are gonna be here for a while and we will not be going away. 

Check out and support the Kickstarter campaign for Bi Visibility: A Bisexual Anthology here before it closes on September 30th, 2021.

Comics Interviews

Bobby Singer Talks About Kickstarter Final Gamble

Gabrielle Cazeaux: What’s your favorite sandwich?

Bobby Singer: Buffalo Chicken with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and honey mustard.

Gabrielle Cazeaux: Nowadays, stories focused on political injustice, inequality, and exploitation of the working class are becoming more and more common, almost turning into a staple of this era of art. What made you want to write about it?

Bobby Singer: There wasn’t, really. The original idea for Final Gamble was very different from what I ended up writing. Originally, the book had a greater focus on gangs and the criminal underworld. As I was outlining ideas for future storylines, I came up with the idea of a society of elites who gamble with the lives of others for amusement, and I ended up deciding that that was where the real story and thematic depth was.

Final Gamble #1 (Written by Bobby Singer, illustrated by Jorge Santiago Jr., colored by Harry Saxon, and lettered by George Gant) / Source: Final Gamble Kickstarter

Gabrielle Cazeaux: There’s a trans character who’s part of the rich that exploit the lesser classes. Considering the archetypes of characters minorities get to have as representation is severely limited, this feels like an exciting opportunity for writing and reading. How was the process of creating the character, and is there more like that throughout the story?

Bobby Singer: The character in question, Mandy Chalk, was not originally conceived as a trans woman. When I first wrote the scripts for the first six issues, I still identified as non-binary. However, since January of this year, I have come out as a trans woman, and with that, my desire to see better representation for trans women in media has been amplified. So, noting that there wasn’t any trans rep in Final Gamble, I decided I wanted one of the 3 main characters to be trans, and she made the most sense to me as a choice. And yes, all throughout the story it is shown that people of all races and sexualities can be corrupted by wealth.

Gabrielle Cazeaux: Other projects that tackle the fight against the system often fall short, solving things by, for example, putting the blame only onto individuals instead of the system itself, causing it to lack the depth it has in real life. How are you handling this matter?

Bobby Singer: The rich own and control the world. It is made clear early on that the protagonists are on their own because their enemies own every law enforcement organization and government in the world. There is no moral justification for being a billionaire, and this book shows the lack of morals in everyone who has that type of wealth.

Final Gamble #1 (Written by Bobby Singer, illustrated by Jorge Santiago Jr., colored by Harry Saxon, and lettered by George Gant) / Source: Final Gamble Kickstarter

Gabrielle Cazeaux: The work you have made until now has been really varied. Did you encounter any changes that you found difficult or maybe exciting with Final Gamble? Were there any similarities with previous work that surprised you?

Bobby Singer: Honestly, there haven’t been any challenges. My team, consisting of Jorge Santiago Jr, Harry Saxon, and Geroge Gant, is incredibly talented and we all work together well. It’s definitely exciting dipping my toe into the thriller and horror genres. And I wouldn’t say I’ve spotted any similarities to my previous work. 

Gabrielle Cazeaux: What kind of dynamic do the two protagonists have? What was your process for creating them?

Bobby Singer: Danny and Jasmeet come from different worlds. Danny’s an asshole who’s done whatever he had to to survive for years, while Jasmeet is a kind and respectable guy who was a superstar MMA fighter but lost everything in a moment of weakness. They butt heads right off the bat, but as they’re thrown into life or death situations, they start to bond. I knew from the start that I needed a gambler and a fighter, and as I thought about the kind of relationship I wanted them to have and the experiences I wanted to put them through, their personalities and backgrounds formed.

Final Gamble #1 (Written by Bobby Singer, illustrated by Jorge Santiago Jr., colored by Harry Saxon, and lettered by George Gant) / Source: Final Gamble Kickstarter

Gabrielle Cazeaux: How do you use the supernatural elements present in the previews?

Bobby Singer: The Hell in this book created by the elites of the world is one in which those trapped in it have their humanity stripped away and are treated as toys. Clothes and food are luxurious privileges granted only to some, you can lose your life on the whim of an elite, and your suffering is a form of amusement. In essence, it’s an extreme encapsulation of reality.

Gabrielle Cazeaux: On the Kickstarter it says there’s the possibility of continuing the story. Do you already have a mental outline of what you want to do, maybe a script or something similar?

Bobby Singer: Currently, the first six issues are fully written, and I have a written outline for 18 issues. I have ideas for even more than that, but I think we’d need to be a pretty huge success to make that happen. But hey, maybe we will be!