Secret Agent Moscow Looks at L.G.B.T. Life in Russia (Book Review)

Secret Agent Moscow Looks at L.G.B.T. History in Russia (Book Review)

Secret Agent Moscow: Part One – Goodbye, Natasha by talent graphic artist, illustrator, and author Jennifer Jigour documents in vivid colorful scenes the history behind queer life in post WWII Russia. This graphic novel can be enjoyed whether you’re gay or straight, as Jigour’s illustrations can equal the best of any graphic novel, and the tale she tells is a very compelling one that will draw you in and hold your attention from the start to the finish. Secret Agent Moscow Looks at L.G.B.T. Life in Russia

As some of the illustrations are relatively graphic, this excellent graphic novel is not really intended for a younger audience, but teens on up will want to add it to their graphic novel libraries.

What is Secret Agent Moscow about?

Jennifer Jigour tells the history of the L.G.B.T. community in Russia through the eyes of her main female protagonist, a Russian-American woman named Natasha, who is recruited as a spy for a secret mission in Moscow after trying to find a woman she’d been in love with and lost in San Francisco.

Natasha is a former WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilot) of WWII. She is afraid to forget her past, but she is unable to recapture it when she tries to locate the woman she once loved in the seedy world of “sexual deviants” in 1949 San Francisco.

Everything comes into question as Natasha is debriefed and prepares for her secret mission to find Sydney, an agent who has gone missing in Moscow It’s almost as if she’s dropped down a rabbit hole. She uncovers secrets about a forbidden past, and she has visions of the past, present, and future.  Secret Agent Moscow Looks at L.G.B.T. History in Russia (Book Review)

Natasha doesn’t know what to think anymore about her own past, present, or future, and she questions the so-called norms of the society she lives in. She begins to look beyond queer stereotypes, and see each person as the individual that he or she is, as she transcends the past mindset that she once had.

Natasha learns that there are many more than one way of seeing things, that there are countless different perspectives on everything. It’s the inability or refusal to acknowledge these perspectives that often leads to misunderstanding, friction, and sometimes violence.

The secret mission that Natasha undertakes causes her to change her own perspectives on many subjects, including sexuality. It’s a real tribute to the author that she manages to tell a tense, suspenseful story while also relating important messages, and allowing her readers a look into how Russia, a country that has been historically intolerant of homosexuals has treated them, transsexuals, bisexuals, etc., during the post-WWII and Cold War era and beyond.

Secret Agent Moscow – Part One: Goodbye, Natasha by Jennifer Jigour is a beautifully crafted masterpiece of art that tells a highly entertaining and thought-provoking story about the spy, Natasha, and her search for the missing secret agent, Sydney.

It’s a book that relates many L.G.B.T themes, and touches upon the history of this community in Russia, without getting preachy or detracting from the plot of the graphic novel. I’m definitely looking forward to the next graphic novel in the series from the talented Jennifer Jigour. Secret Agent Moscow – Part One: Goodbye, Natasha is a beautifully crafted and illustrated graphic novel, that can grace any coffee table or personal library. Check it out today!

Written by: Douglas Cobb

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