Today we’re featuring a selected reading list on the intersection of queer studies and comics studies compiled by Ramzi Fawaz, co-editor (with Darieck Scott) of “Queer about Comics,” a special issue of American Literature (volume 90, issue 2), now available.
“Queer about Comics” explores the intersection of queer theory and comics studies. The contributors provide new theories of how comics represent and reconceptualize queer sexuality, desire, intimacy, and eroticism, while also investigating how the comic strip, as a hand-drawn form, queers literary production and demands innovative methods of analysis from the fields of literary, visual, and cultural studies.
Contributors examine the relationships among reader, creator, and community across a range of comics production, including mainstream superhero comics, independent LGBTQ comics, and avant-garde and experimental feminist narratives. They also address queer forms of identification elicited by the classic X-Men character Rogue, the lesbian grassroots publishing networks that helped shape Alison Bechdel’s oeuvre, and the production of black queer fantasy in the Black Panther comic book series, among other topics.
Additionally, these three articles have been made freely available for a short time, until December 15, 2018:
- “Desiring Blackness: A Queer Orientation to Marvel’s Black Panther, 1998–2016,” by andré carrington
- “‘Flesh-to-Flesh Contact’: Marvel Comics’ Rogue and the Queer Feminist Imagination,” by Anthony Michael D’Agostino
- “‘The Lesbian Norman Rockwell’: Alison Bechdel and Queer Grassroots Networks,” by Margaret Galvan
“Queer about Comics”: A Selected Reading List
Comics and Graphic Narratives
Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele. Queer: A Graphic History. London: Icon Books, 2016.
Alison Bechdel. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
Alison Bechdel. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. New York: Mariner Book, 2007.
Jennifer Camper, ed. Juicy Mother Volume 1: Celebration. New York: Soft Skull Press, 2005.
Jennifer Camper. Rude Girls and Dangerous Women. New York: Laugh Line Press, 1994.
Charles Zan Christensen, ed. Anything That Loves: Comics beyond “Gay” and “Straight”. Seattle: Northwest Press, 2013.
Jaime Cortez. Sexile: A Graphic Novel Biography of Adela Vazquez. New York: Institute for Gay Men’s Health, 2004.
Howard Crus. Stuck Rubber Baby. New York: DC Comics, 2000.
Blue Delliquanti. Oh Human Star. Vol. 1. Self-published, 2017.
Diane Dimassa. The Complete Hothead Paisan: Homocidal Lesbian Terrorist. San Francisco: Cleis Press, 1999.
Dylan Edwards. Transposes. Seattle: Northwest Press, 2012.
Edie Fake. Gaylord Phoenix. Los Angeles: Secret Acres, 2010.
Gay Comix (September 1980–July 1988). Northampton, MA: Kitchen Sink Press.
Kieron Gillon (writer) and Jamie McKelvie (artist). Young Avengers Omnibus. New York: Marvel, 2014.
Sina Grace (writer) and Alessandro Vitti (artist). Iceman Volume 1: Thawing Out and Iceman Volume 2: Absolute Zero. New York: Marvel Comics, 2018.
Justin Hall, ed. No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2013.
Nagata Kabi. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness. Los Angeles: Seven Seas, 2017.
Robert Kirby. Curbside Boys: The New York Years. New York: Cleis Press, 2002.
Ed Luce. Wuvable Oaf. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2015.
Jon Macy. Teleny and Camille. Seattle: Northwest Press, 2010.
Cristy C. Roads. Spit and Passion. New York: Feminist Press at CUNY, 2012.
Tommy Roddy, Carl Hippensteel, et al. Pride High. Seattle: Northwest Press, 2017.
Ariel Schrag, Potential: The High School Comic Chronicles of Ariel Schrag. New York: Touchstone, 2008.
A. K. Summers. Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag. New York: Soft Skull Press, 2014.
Gengoroh Tagame. My Brother’s Husband. Vol. 1. Translated by Anne Ishii. New York: Pantheon, 2017.
Shimura Takako. Wandering Son: Book 1. Translated by Matt Thorn. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2011.
Mariko Tamaki (writer) and Jillian Tamaki (artist). Skim. San Diego: Groundwork Books, 2010.
Tom of Finland. Tom of Finland: The Complete Kake Comics. Cologne, Germany: Taschen, 2014.
David Wojnarowicz (writer), James Romberger (artist), and Marguerite Van Cook (artist). Seven Miles a Second. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2013.
Michelle Ann Abate, Karly Marie Grice, and Christine N. Stamper, eds. “Lesbians and Comics” (special issue). Journal of Lesbian Studies 22.4 (2018).
Noah Berlatsky. Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peters Comics, 1941–1948. New York: Rutgers University Press, 2015.
Hillary Chute. “Why Queer?” in Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere. New York: Harper, 2017.
Brian Cremins. “Bodies, Transfigurations, and Bloodlust in Edie Fake’s Graphic Novel Gaylord Phoenix.” Journal of Medical Humanities, 34.2 (June 2013).
Ramzi Fawaz. The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics. New York: New York University Press, 2016.
Ramzi Fawaz. “Stripped to the Bone: Sequencing Queerness in the Comic Strip Work of Joe Brainard and David Wojnarowicz.” ASAP/Journal 2.2 (May 2017).
Margaret Galvan. “Making Space: Jennifer Camper, LGBTQ Anthologies, and Queer Comics Communities.” Journal of Lesbian Studies 22.4 (2017).
Andréa Gilroy. “The Epistemology of the Phone Booth: The Superheroic Identity and Queer Theory in Batwoman: Elegy.” ImageTexT 8.1 (2015).
Gayatri Gopinath. “Chitra Ganesh’s Queer Re-Visions.” GLQ 15.3 (2009).
Justin Hall. “Erotic Comics.” In The Routledge Companion to Comics, ed. Frank Bramlett, Roy T. Cook, and Aaron Meskin. New York: Routledge, 2016.
Michael Harrison. “The Queer Spaces and Fluid Bodies of Nazario’s Anarcoma.” Postmodern Culture 19.3 (2009).
Yetta Howard. “Politically Incorrect, Visually Incorrect: Bitchy Butch’s Unapologetic Discrepancies in Lesbian Identity and Comic Art.” Journal of Popular Culture 45.1 (February 2012).
Ashley Manchester. “Teaching Critical Looking: Pedagogical Approaches to Using Comics as Queer Theory.” SANE journal: Sequential Art Narrative in Education 2.2 (2017).
Michael Moon. Darger’s Resources. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012.
Paul Petrovic. “Queer Resistance, Gender Performance, and ‘Coming Out’ of the Panel Borders in Greg Rucka and J. H. Williams III’s Batwoman: Elegy.” Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 2.1 (2011).
Jonathan Risner. “‘Authentic’ Latino/as and Queer Characters in Mainstream and Alternative Comics.” In Multicultural Comics: From Zap to Blue Beetle, edited by Frederick Luis Aldama. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010.
Darieck Scott. “Big Black Beauty: Drawing and Naming the Black Male Figure in Superhero and Gay Porn Comics.” In Porn Archives, edited by Tim Dean, Steven Ruszczycky, and David Squires. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.
Darieck Scott and Ramzi Fawaz, eds. “Queer about Comics” (special issue). American Literature 90.2 (June 2018).
Sina Shamsavari. “Gay Ghetto Comics and the Alternative Gay Comics of Robert Kirby.” Queer Studies in Media and Popular Culture 2.1 (March 2017).
Patrick Walter. “A Post-Colony in Pieces: Black Faces, White Masks, and Queer Potentials in Unknown Solider.” In The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art, edited by Frances Gateward and John Jennings. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2015.
Andrea Wood. ‘“Straight’ Women, Queer Texts: Boy-Love Manga and the Rise of a Global Counterpublic.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 34.1/2 (Spring–Summer 2006).