As the Crow Flies

As the Crow Flies (2012)


Camp Three Peaks is a rustic, Christian summer retreat for teenage girls. It offers them a week of hiking, adventure, and communing with the God of its 19th-century founders . . . a God that doesn’t traditionally number people like 13-year-old Charlie Lamonte among His (Her? Their? Its?) flock.

The only black camper in the group—and queer besides—she struggles to reconcile the innocent intent of the trip with the blinkered obliviousness of those determined to keep the Three Peaks tradition going. As the journey wears on and the rhetoric wears thin, Charlie can’t help but poke holes in the pious disregard this storied sanctuary has for outsiders like herself—and her fellow camper, Sydney.

From: Iron Circus Comics

Notes on This Title

As the Crow Flies is an ongoing webcomic. The first volume, published by Iron Circus Comics, contains the first 270 pages of the webcomic, with the early pages partially redrawn for consistency of style.

The racism experienced by Charlie takes the form of microaggressions (careless language, histories that center white people) rather than overt prejudice.


2014 Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Award Shortlist — Favorite Webcomic (Continuing Story)
2014 Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Award Shortlist — Favorite Queer Character (Charlie)
2014 Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Award Shortlist — Favorite Overall Comic
2015 Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Awards Shortlist — Favorite Webcomic – Serial
2016 Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Awards Shortlist — Favorite Webcomic – Serial
2017 Broken Frontier Award Nominee for Best Webcomic
2014 Eisner Award Nominee for Best Digital/Webcomic
2016 Ignatz Award Nominee for Outstanding Comic
2018 Stonewall Honor Book


Starred Review: “With arresting artwork, this coming-of-age story, originally published as  a webcomic, sensitively explores religion, spirituality, feminism, and friendship and perfectly balance thought-provoking moments with heartening humor. Perfect for anyone who loved Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese (2007).” (Source: Booklist, vol 114, number 2, p42)

Starred Review: “Heartfelt, stimulating, and sure to spark discussion about feminism’s often less than inclusive attitudes toward marginalized groups. For all graphic novel collections.” (Source: School Library Journal, vol 63, issue 11, p94)

Starred Review: “The book is unflinching in its examination of how solidarity among white, cisgender women can harm others. Charlie’s pain is palpable, as  are Sydney’s alienation and fear, producing a story that’s as resonant for marginalized readers as  it is enlightening for those it critiques.” (Source: Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 49)

Starred Review: “Gillman’s superb work with colored pencils gives a richness and dimensionality to Charlie’s coming of age.” (Source: Library Journal, vol 143, issue 1, p85)

“The way she avoids the other’s glances and tries so incredibly hard to both speak up and avoid conflict is written and drawn in a painfully real and touching way. But not every moment is awkward and uncomfortable for Charlie. There are times when Charlie is standing in the majesty of nature. There are times when she bonds with the leader she has a crush on. There are times when she realizes she’s not so alone. And those moments are just as beautiful and powerful as the other moments are squirm inducing.” (Source: Autostraddle)

“Melanie Gillman created this sensitive and lovely webcomic for nearly three years, but they (Gillman prefers the third-person plural pronoun) took their time for good reason. Following the story of a queer African American girl at an overnight camp with old feminist roots, the comic unfurls slowly, each page drawn with painstaking care in colored pencils. Gillman says it took them about 8 to 10 hours to complete a single page, and the results feel contemplative, with sublime views of landscape as the girls hike through the wilderness.” (Source: Paste Magazine)


The MNT: “Giving Voice: An Interview with Melanie Gillman”

Leave a Comment