Just So You Know #1 by Joey Alison Sayers

Categories:  Reviews

Just So You Know #1
by Joey Alison Sayers
Self-published

jsyk1Joey Alison Sayers entered womanhood as a very late bloomer. Try adulthood. After spending much of her life as a man.

That couldn’t have been an easy thing to communicate in-person with friends, I’m sure, but on paper the revelation and consequences come across mostly sweet and punchy, and not wholly unlike her awesome thingpart webcomic series.

Just So You Know #1 explores the early years in which Sayers comes out to her girlfriend as a cross-dresser, then later to herself and the world as a woman. It’s a heartening evolution, mostly because it seems like she’s received much love and continued support throughout the change.

Initially though, I was concerned by the potential for flatness in the material. Because sometimes, when heavy things happen to funny people, life in the audience is a drag. I thought for sure in this story we’d lose Sayers’ glib comedy to the seriousness of the matter, never to be heard from again.

Luckily, Sayers has been more than just a burgeoning transsexual all these years, she’s also been a smart comedy writer. So although her plea on each page could be summarized as “I’m a woman treat me like a woman” — the statement didn’t feel as repetitive as it is.

Sayers seems to understand that if she’s going to make this story work as a book or series, she’s got to keep playing it from a new angle. Because if someone simply mistakes her gender in every story, that would reveal absolutely nothing new or unique about her situation and totally bore her audience.

I’m happy to say that Just So You Know #1 does a fine job of balancing its objective point with a little playfulness. Sayers eases you into her situation in an interesting way and never asks for pity for being born into the wrong body, just respect for her body now that it’s changed. By highlighting events from the past six years in a non-linear, interesting way, and throwing in a few tongue-in-cheek one-pagers titled “Am I a Bitch Now?” it’s clear that Sayers just wants you on her team and on her level. The material isn’t going to be droning and self-pitying and self-absorbed like I’d feared. For this issue at least, it’s something more well-rounded. I just hope that when issue #2 comes along, the series still stands strong.

I love being a woman. I hope Sayers does too. You can support her and learn more about her life by reading Just So You Know #1, which is 32-pages long, black and white with a color cover, and available for $6 through Sayer’s website.

– Sarah Morean

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6 Comments to “Just So You Know #1 by Joey Alison Sayers”

  1. Liz B | April 23rd, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Awesome, JSYK #1 was easily my most anticipated comic at Stumptown, and definitely the best of the ones I’ve read so far. I’ve loved Joey’s thingpart series for years, and was also curious about how she’d approach such personal material. My friend MK and I found ourselves saying “Am I A Bitch Now?” all weekend, and what greater testament to a comic’s awesomeness than having a couple of nerds at a comic convention constantly quoting your comic?

  2. Jeff Flowers | April 28th, 2009 at 6:10 am

    I bought a copy of this book when it came out and I really like it. Easily worth the money.

  3. Travis | April 28th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I really loved ‘Just So You Know’. And I REALLY F**KING HATE COMICS. Sincerely.

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