One Million Tiny Fires by author Ashley Robin Franklin
One Million Tiny Fires is a black and white illustrated graphic novel that features a lesbian couple and their trip to enlightenment. It is LGBTQ but not quite sci fi and certainly not YA, sorry, just gonna get abbreviation happy for a minute. Sometimes I just search my library app for LGBTQ books and see what comes up. This little comic book was featured on one of their pride lists.
The aforementioned married couple appears to be struggling with their relationship while living and working on their farm. We don’t get a lot of character development or back story about them, all we know is that they don’t appear to be happy with their current situation. It’s not that they’re constantly fighting, they’ve just gotten complacent and stopped trying altogether.
Then an astrological event takes place in their back yard and one of the women begins to change. This sets the couple on a path to potentially bettering their relationship and their lives but not without some sacrifice. What does it take to save a flailing marriage? In some cases, more than you might think.
This is all interesting as a premise but the main problem with One Million Tiny Fires is that it is far too short to have a meaningful impact. The reader lacks a connection to the main characters and their struggle. We can’t tell that a character has changed because we never knew her to begin with. Subsequently, the reader is unable to attach much gravity to the conclusion since the entire story holds no weight.
One Million Tiny Fires is a 15 minute read at most. The graphic novel is only about 60 pages long. It is simply illustrated and does not have a lot of dialogue or text boxes to pad out its short page length. It flies by in a second and does not leave an imprint.
This is disappointing since I think the premise does have strong potential. I also love seeing more representation of diversity in graphic novels but this one is underwritten. I liked the ending enough and understand what author Franklin was going for I just wish I thought I’d remember it past writing this review.
I can recommend One Million Tiny Fires to anyone in dire need of a new lesbian book or who is looking for a very short independent read. Let me know in the comments if you found it deeper than I did.
3/5 voids 🕳🕳🕳
For a truly remarkable lesbian graphic novel check out Sunstone
And to support small comic book production check out Ashcan Comics Pub Studios
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Buy it here: One Million Tiny Fires
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