Tag Archives: Comics

Get Your Hands on This Queer Comic Book Series Before It Sells Out

FabMan is tired of being laughed at.

As an openly gay superhero, he is ready to be taken seriously despite (or maybe because of!) his bubble gum pink tights and billowing rainbow cape.

Sure, there are hundreds of other superheroes flying around, so he’s not exactly the city’s only savior, but he doesn’t want to be the joke of the news any longer.

Because of that, he forms PRIDE, “the LGBTQ premiere LGBTQ super group,” and waits for the applause to roll in. It doesn’t. If anything, the city turns against gay superheroes even more, and the very conservative Justice Division leads an aggressive charge against the diverse group. The nefarious Reverend will squash the group and take over the entire world – the straight superheroes don’t take Reverend seriously, but PRIDE knows that they are the world’s only hope against his evil plan.

Joe Glass’ new comic series The Pride is making waves and selling out all over the world, specifically in Israel, where all of the copies sold out in one day.

Glass’ inspiration came from his experiences reading comic books as a child and finding no overtly queer characters. Diversity and queer identities were hinted at through metaphor in comics such as X-Men, but Glass was tired of queer subtext and wanted a comic that proudly addressed aspects of being LGBTQ.

He faced a decision: He could try to create nuanced characters whose identities included but did not center around being LGBTQ. Or he could create cardboard stereotypes that satirized the stereotypes prevalent in mainstream television.

Glass combined both options. His characters are stereotypes, and happily, even satirically so. But somehow he imbues these stereotypes with depth and complexity that is extremely rare for queer characters in comic books. He humanizes the stereotypes.

In addition to ringleader FabMan, PRIDE includes large lesbian Muscle Mary, hairy The Bear, and a host of other characters:

gay characters, bi characters, characters who prefer to define as queer rather than be limited by any particular ‘box’, trans characters, pansexual characters, a straight character with a queer parent, and more.”

To get your hands on a copy before the rest sell-out, head over to Big Cartel.

5 LGBT Webcomics To Make You Laugh

When you’re stuck at work or in a dull lecture, webcomics are the perfect bite-sized escape from reality.

What’s Normal Anyway?


What’s Normal Anyway? follows Mel, a transgender man who transitions from female to male during college. The comic puts a humorous spin on heavy issues, from body shaming to transphobia to dysphoria. Because it ran from 2010 to 2014, you’ll have hundreds of pages to laugh over.

Girls with Slingshots


This quirky comic has been running since 2004, and updates five times a week. It follows queer girls Hazel and Jamie, and their forays into relationships. Some relationships are successful. Others…not so much.

Assigned Male


Have you ever wanted to read Judith Butler, Simone de Beauvoir and Audre Lorde, but had trouble deciphering dense theoretical texts? Stephie, an elementary school trans* girl, will explain them to you in Assigned Male. This comic is witty and insightful it follows Stephie’s adventures hanging with family, battling dysphoria and destroying the patriarchy.

As the Crow Flies


As the Crow Flies is as honest as it is beautifully drawn; each hand-colored colored pencil page builds onto the harrowing story of Charlie, queer a thirteen-year-old black girl who finds herself in an all-white Christian backpacking camp. The author sometimes takes weeks between updates, but the archive has over 250 to start you off.

Find Chaos


Find Chaos is the hilarious autobiographical webcomic about an agender cartoonist A and their girlfriend K. The comics touch on gender, sexuality, mental health and cats. New updates usually once a week.

So What Does it Mean to Have a Gay Green Lantern? DC’s Iconic Character to Come Out in Upcoming Comic

Simply put, if you’re anything other than straight, white, male and cis-gendered, the representation of your identity across all forms of media is going to be pretty abysmal. Because of the changing readership of comics, though, thing are slowly becoming better in the superhero space.

Even so, the big two comics companies – DC and Marvel – could always do better as both are quite poor at presenting their female heroes in a non-objectifying light.

DC recently made headlines after the creative team of Batwoman jumped ship because higher ups wouldn’t let the character get married to her female partner. So, after Marvel Comics character Northstar (of Astonishing X-Men fame) proposed to his boyfriend, DC are following suit with Green Lantern set to get a boyfriend too.

The announcement comes as somewhat of a surprise to Green Lantern fans as the character has been around since before the Second World War, after which the character behind the Green Lantern persona changed in an effort to ramp up the character’s declining popularity.

It’s the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, who is going to come out as gay in an upcoming issue and not the Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern who was played by Ryan Reynolds in the film. And that’s quite important too as with other characters like Batman and Superman, we only know these as one person (Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, respectively) but with Green Lantern, the ‘gay version’ of Green Lantern is just another version of the character in a group of many others and so fans can overlook or avoid the superhero’s sexuality in favour of whichever straight Green Lantern that they like best.

While it would be wrong for us to completely turn our noses up a representation especially with a storyline so sweet as this (Green Lantern is set to come home to his boyfriend and give him a welcoming hug and kiss) in the back of my mind, the comics fan in me sees this as somewhat of a cop-out on DC’s part. As mentioned with the Batwoman debacle, they don’t exactly have a brilliant track record either. Nonetheless, it will be nice to see Green Lantern’s storyline and relationship with his boyfriend progress over the next few issues so we’ll keep you posted once we know more.


Why Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Lucy’ Is Not Worth Your Time or Money

It’s a sad, sad thing that although we are quite a few movies into the recent Marvel heroes movie surge we have yet to see Scarlett Johansson kick ass, take names and save the world as Black Widow the way her male Avengers counterparts (Thor, Captain America et. al) have in their own movie franchises.

While Johansson’s public support of people like Woody Allen and her sponsorship of oppressive companies have been abrasive at best, there’s no denying that people are hungry to see her play a badass female superhero. Directed by Luc Besson, ‘Lucy’ hoped to be Johansson’s turn to party with the boys.

It may not be within the Marvel universe but playing the titular character after she is forced against her will to transport a package of drugs within her body, before then accidentally absorbing those drugs and gaining advanced mental and physical powers, Lucy had the potential to be a superhero that all of us could support. So it’s a shame that the film turned out to be a racist amalgamation of stereotypes and tropes instead.

The first time the queasy feeling will settle in your stomach whilst watching Lucy is when the character (remember, she’s white) is placed into Taiwan and tasked with the unsavoury job of killing exclusively Asian male villains in the name of liberation and justice. Is there a feminist cause to be championed in there somewhere – that this female hero is getting her revenge by taking on men?

Yes. Is there also an overt racist trope of the ‘vulnerable’ white woman (remember, she’s already smarter and stronger than the majority of the people on the planet by this point) taking on the scary, brown man? Check marks all round for Lucy on this one. While I could entirely focus the remainder of these piece on asking why a film set in Taiwan has a white lead, since I can answer that succinctly with ‘Hollywood is racist’ and link you to this HuffPo article and this one from TIME to prove it, I’ll move onto my next point.

What may seem like a minor problem actually reflects ‘Lucy’ as a whole. Peep this screengrab of Chinese writing in the background of the film. It translates as ‘Keep Clean. Apple, scallop & ginger, orange, tomato, grape’. ‘Ha!’ I hear someone say in the distance ‘what a wonderful Easter egg for those who understand Chinese characters’, but they’re wrong, this isn’t an Easter egg at all.

Rather, it’s a further example of someone on this movie’s staff not doing their research or not caring enough to do the language spoken the inhabitants of the film’s Taiwan setting justice. They cared enough to make this sci-fi thriller (or crime thriller, no one is really sure) about the very real fact that humans only use about 10% of their brain power and stick it in a country full of people of colour that would make Lucy’s plight for revenge seem so much grittier, but not enough to Google Translate some scarier phrases than the contents of my fruit bowl.

But, I say, knowing full well that there are so many more column inches I could dedicate to this God awful movie, the very worst example of racism in Lucy is this scene (tw: violence at the link). A country predominantly made up of non-English speakers, Lucy goes up to a man and shoots him dead because he does not speak the language that she does.

Newsflash: Lucy, there are more people who don’t speak English in the world than those who do. Statistically, it’s moronic for her to expect that a person in a mostly non-English speaking country is going to share her dialect. but more than that, the film perpetuates the idea that it’s ok to murder people in cold blood if they speak with an accent or don’t speak the same language as you.

In short, maybe it’s action scenes are shocking, maybe the concept of a female superhero is a good one but this film is so vividly offensive, so undeniably racist that I implore you not to support it. I know we as feminists want women to be the leads of all media, especially those like superhero films in which men have typically reigned, but for crying out loud if this is the example of a ‘female lead’ that we’re willing to accept then maybe we don’t deserve it.

Soska Sisters to Direct Movie About Bisexual Superhero ‘Painkiller Jane’

Marvel has a planned release of movie schedules up until 2028, including a third Captain America film, a possible solo outing for the Hulk and a third Thor film despite the first two feeling like they were released just yesterday.

The Black Widow is nowhere to be seen amongst the confirmed titles, and although the recent reveal that Thor would become a female character made waves, that’s only the case in the comic book medium and Marvel’s movie efforts prove as male, white and heterosexual as ever.

Meanwhile, DC’s comic capers include refusing to let lesbian hero Batwoman get married in the comics (which led to some of the creative team quitting). And David Finch (the artist of Wonder Woman), doesn’t want her to be seen as feminist when she hits the big screen.

So with everything looking as miserable as it does for the state of ladies in comics (especially those who are queer) Painkiller Jane is likely a breath of bisexual air into the entire comic medium.

Getting her name from her regenerative abilities and her incredibly high tolerance for pain, Painkiller Jane is a certified badass. A cop by trade, she goes undercover in a drug ring with her partner, only to be tortured and to make it out, well, just that bit more than alive.

Oh, and Painkiller Jane is bisexual too (as per her love interests in the comics) but you might not know that if you’ve followed previous adaptations of her stories as in the SyFy TV movie (2005), her relationships were strictly heterosexual, same for the TV series in 2007 (which even featured a queer actress Kristanna Loken in the role of Jane) that followed. Let’s say we’re following the three strike rule then as surely there must be more hope for the Painkiller Jane movie?

Well, directed by the Soska Sisters, Jen and Sylvia, the Painkiller Jane movie stands a good chance of featuring a little more queer representation than fans of the character are used to. 2012’s American Mary was a cult slasher directed by the pair and it garnered strong reviews, namely for its “female themes”, according to critics.

Directed by two women with a history of doing female stories right and starring at least two women in the lead roles, the Painkiller Jane movie has potential, especially in terms of a female love interest for our hiney kicker but as there’s not a release date (or even a date as to when the film begins production) we’ll just have to wait very patiently for more on this one.

Comics by Anne Emond, That Perfectly Encapsulate The Vicious Cycle Of Life

Brooklyn illustrator, Anne Emond draws real social panics we don’t often admit to feeling, and why comics express them so well. 

“As an art form, comics have always been kind of on the fringes of respectability, and the sort of people who are drawn to making them usually have to be comfortable with a certain degree of isolation and no real expectation of mainstream acclaim (i.e. weirdos). And it’s a form which is usually consumed intimately and solo, be it printed or on a screen; it’s not necessarily made for a wall or to be viewed within a crowd (unlike music or painting or animation, for example). Plus the experience of reading and absorbing images side by side is visceral and immediate, and the speed at which one consumes them is entirely within the reader’s control which I think heightens the intimacy. All of these qualities certainly contribute to comics being particularly well-suited to ruminations on loneliness and alienation, and the kind of existential dread that comes with time passing you by.”

Anne Emond

You can see more of her work at ANNEEMOND.COM and more of her comics at COMIQUES.TUMBLR.COM.