By Monica Rudolph-Ruiz

Saiya Miller and Liza Bley are currently on tour promoting their first book, Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf: A Sex Education Comic Book, published by Soft Skull Press. Back in 2008, the two put out an open call to young people asking them to create comics addressing topics on sex-ed. They compiled a zine of the various submissions, and named it Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf. The comics were graphically illustrated personal narratives on different themes, such as “Firsts,” “Bodies,” “Health,” and “Age” and “Endings.” They decided to compile the zine submissions into a book, and expanded these themes into chapters.

I was fortunate enough to catch them in Portland this weekend at In Other Words Bookstore. They did a reading from various chapters of the book and answered some questions. Adorable would be an understatement when describing these two ladies. Their passion to help young people explore and understand their sexuality, bodies, and identities is inspiring and revolutionary in terms of traditional “sex education.”

“What is so inspiring about these comics is their honesty.  The comic format makes it possible for people to open up and talk about often embarrassing, sometimes even painful experiences in a way that is humorous and self-deprecating.  It helps to read someone else’s story and consider their experience in a time of questioning. It helps people feel that they aren’t alone.”

I encourage everyone to check out the Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf: A Sex Education Comic Book website and support these two. We all know how important it is to support Independent Publishers, so purchasing directly from them, or Soft Skull Press is ideal.

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