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[This is a non-dated recommendations link post.]
 
This page serves to document some special links and stories I though are worth a look.  I'll be linking it off my sidebar and updating it frequently, so be sure to check back! Also, if you look and see too many things to check out, know that I've ordered them roughly (within each subsection) by how much they touched my heart.
 
Books
 
Glory in the Thunder is really damned cool. I'm still having a hard time explaining exactly why, but it fits in really well with my inclinations towards magic/spirituality. My Goodreads review can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1504895871

Short Stories

This one is special.  It tastes like rain.  http://365tomorrows.com/08/30/lastly/

Heavily Emotional Comics and/or Webcomics
 
Dumbing of Age... Man, this is one that absolutely leveled me, multiple times. It's a slice-of-life comic about a group of friends going through college together, and living in the same dorm. It's beautiful, and heartbreaking, in ways that will make you wish you could hug the characters right through the page. You'll fall in love with them, hurt with them, and laugh and love with them too. More, you cannot ask. [And since I don't quite know how to segue from that, several of the characters are LGBT, or have PTSD/anxiety/depression/etc... If you struggle with any of those things, this may help you. This comic is also similar in feel to Questionable Content, which is just a little farther down this list.]
 
Rain... Wow. This one hit my like a ton of bricks.. From a transgender protagonist who is absolutely adorable, to an aunt and friends I'd probably fight to the death to protect, this story will warm your heart. You'll cry too, but never for very long, and you'll be happy to trade those tears for the joy this will bring you. Bisexual, transgender, genderqueer, gay... whatever your stripe of rainbow, and even if you're straight, this comic has a way of making you smile. I think it's the artist's love shining through. <3
 
Black Tapestries is probably the most heart-wrenching comic I have ever read. It is also probably the hardest read on this entire list. It takes place in a world where Kaetif (anthropomorphic animals) are looked down upon as vermin by most humans, and follows the story of a drifter, a mercenary for hire, as she attempts to assassinate, and then later, to find out how to reverse, what appears to be a curse. I cannot even tell you how much this comic means to me, especially since I found it so many years ago, but it is a brutal one at times too. You are hereby warned that there is an on-scene skinning as well as a rape that take place as part of the plot. I do not recommend it lightly, but it should say a lot that I recommend it despite that at all.
 
TwoKinds is a very similar story to Black Tapestries, though it does not veer anywhere near as dark (at least not directly). This is a lot more lighthearted, but the Kiedran (similar to the Kaetif from BT above) are essentially separate from human society most of the time. They aren't always looked down upon, but they are considered potentially dangerous, and are even enslaved in some cases. There is so much love and loss in this one I find it hard to adequately describe. Suffice to say that I've purchased copies of all the published volumes to support the artist.
 
Questionable Content is a story about a group of friends in the northeast US who move into an out of relationships with each other.  All of the characters are 'real' in the sense that they all have issues, some of them very serious.  Running the gamut from anxiety to control and OCD, to outright grief, this strip will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.  And all the time you'll be learning, about both yourself and others. UPDATE: There's a transgender character, now, too! And she's awesome! ^^
 
Venus Envy is recent find, but one I wish I had found ages ago.  Both the artist Erin and the main character Zoe are transgender, and though Zoe's struggles take place way back in high school (well before I managed to break out of *any* of my shell), they still mean a lot.  If you've ever wanted to understand a transgender person's desire to just fit in, be normal, and be accepted, you'll want to read this.  Beware though, it's not an easy read.  Lots of tears ahead.
 
Sunstone by Stjepan Šejić is another recent find.  I've actually never considered myself to be interested in BDSM-related material, but this comic caught me a bit by surprise.  The way it portrays an alternate lifestyle in such a positive and loving way, with no fear or judgment, is absolutely huge.  Learning new ways love can be seen and experienced is never a bad thing, and as much as it surprised me, I think it might surprise you.
 
Misc Comics and/or Webcomics
 
Blood Vigil is another fantastic comic by Stjepan Šejić. I don't even know how to describe this one, but it's fucking awesome. Quoting from an Amazon review: "Funny, dark, violent, quirky characters, elder gods, feathered dinosaurs, necromancers, and death herself. What is there not to love about this comic?"
 
Ms Marvel... This one is cool. I'm not usually one for superhero stories, but Ms Khan caught my eye. Specifically, her words did. "Good isn't a thing you are. It's a thing you do." I love her, the art, and the wonderful middle-eastern background she brings to the table. She's the first Muslim superhero I've ever seen, and seeing her family life echo my own Christian upbringing is kind of hilarious in a way that makes me wince. :P
 
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