Read No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics by Justin Hall MariNaomi Robert Kirby Joan Hilty Eric Orner Maurice Vellekoop Carrie McNinch Michael Fahy Online

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Queer cartooning encompasses some of the best and most interesting comics of the last four decades, with creators tackling complex issues of identity and a changing society with intelligence, humor, and imagination. This book celebrates this vibrant artistic underground by gathering together a collection of excellent stories that can be enjoyed by all.No Straight Lines shoQueer cartooning encompasses some of the best and most interesting comics of the last four decades, with creators tackling complex issues of identity and a changing society with intelligence, humor, and imagination. This book celebrates this vibrant artistic underground by gathering together a collection of excellent stories that can be enjoyed by all.No Straight Lines showcases major names such as Alison Bechdel (whose book Fun Home was named Time Magazine's 2006 Book of the Year), Howard Cruse (whose groundbreaking Stuck Rubber Baby is now back in print), and Ralf Koenig (one of Europe's most popular cartoonists), as well as high-profile, cross-over creators who have dabbled in LGBT cartooning, like legendary NYC artist David Wojnarowicz and media darling and advice columnist Dan Savage. No Straight Lines also spotlights many talented creators who never made it out of the queer comics ghetto, but produced amazing work that deserves wider attention.Until recently, queer cartooning existed in a parallel universe to the rest of comics, appearing only in gay newspapers and gay bookstores and not in comic book stores, mainstream bookstores or newspapers. The insular nature of the world of queer cartooning, however, created a fascinating artistic scene. LGBT comics have been an uncensored, internal conversation within the queer community, and thus provide a unique window into the hopes, fears, and fantasies of queer people for the last four decades.These comics have forged their aesthetics from the influences of underground comix, gay erotic art, punk zines, and the biting commentaries of drag queens, bull dykes, and other marginalized queers. They have analyzed their own communities, and their relationship with the broader society. They are smart, funny, and profound. No Straight Lines will be heralded by people interested in comics history, and people invested in LGBT culture will embrace it as a unique and invaluable collection....

Title : No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781606995068
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 312 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics Reviews

  • Richard Derus
    2019-04-09 05:05

    Rating: 3* of fiveThe Publisher Says: No Straight Lines showcases major names such as Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, and Ralf Koenig (one of Europe's most popular cartoonists), as well as high-profile, crossover creators who have dabbled in LGBT cartooning, like legendary NYC artist David Wojnarowicz and media darling and advice columnist Dan Savage. No Straight Lines also spotlights many talented creators who never made it out of the queer comics ghetto, but produced amazing work that deserves wider attention. Queer cartooning encompasses some of the best and most interesting comics of the last four decades, with creators tackling complex issues of identity and a changing society with intelligence, humor, and imagination. This book celebrates this vibrant artistic underground by gathering together a collection of excellent stories that can be enjoyed by all. Until recently, queer cartooning existed in a parallel universe to the rest of comics, appearing only in gay newspapers and gay bookstores and not in comic book stores, mainstream bookstores or newspapers. The insular nature of the world of queer cartooning, however, created a fascinating artistic scene. LGBT comics have been an uncensored, internal conversation within the queer community, and thus provide a unique window into the hopes, fears, and fantasies of queer people for the last four decades. These comics have forged their aesthetics from the influences of underground comix, gay erotic art, punk zines, and the biting commentaries of drag queens, bull dykes, and other marginalized queers. They have analyzed their own communities, and their relationship with the broader society. They are smart, funny, and profound. No Straight Lines has been heralded by people interested in comics history, and people invested in LGBT culture will embrace it as a unique and invaluable collection.My Review: I don't like comics, comix, graphic novels, or whatever the hell you call them. It's too much work for too little story to my text-adapted eyes. But, in a quest not to ossify into one of Those People, I continue to expose myself to stuff I hate to see if I hate it, or merely don't understand it.Nope. Hate it.At least there were no superheroes. Those just grate on my last nerve with a fine-toothed wood rasp. So why three stars in the ratings, since I hate the damn stuff? Because this is My People talking! I would give an identical collection featuring straight people doing straight people stuff *pause for bad memories to pass* negative stars.As an aside to the squeamishly homophobic (read: normal heterosexual male), the amount of gay-male sex in here will make you *intensely* uncomfortable, but there's a goodly dose of lesbian sex to make it better.As this is a history of LGBTQ subjects treated graphically, it is very very interesting when considered in that light, and shows the increasing sophistication of the audience as material becomes available in greater quantity. The subject matter is, well, pretty much what you'd expect it to be, and pretty much what all fiction is about: Ourselves.At $35, it's a big investment that I don't see making if you're not GLBTQ or very interested in the history of social-issue artistry.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Robert
    2019-04-22 03:51

    In 1989 Robert Triptow published Gay Comics, a trade paperback with New American Library that featured Triptow along with Tim Barela, Alison Bechdel, Jennifer Camper, Howard Cruse, Gerard Donelan, Kurt Erichsen, Roberta Gregory, Jeffrey Krell, and all the other major LGBT cartoonists from the underground comic book series Gay Comix as well as the gay and lesbian newsweeklies of the day, etc. Gay Comics was an excellent book, one I’d read and reread many times. It also won the Lambda Literary Award for Humor. But let’s face facts, as the book had been published over 20 years ago and was long out of print, and as the queer comics scene had grown and changed by leaps and bounds since, an update was badly needed. Obviously one of our own had to step up to the plate to accomplish this and that someone turned out to be the estimable Justin Hall, a fine cartoonist in his own right as well as a teacher of the art of cartooning at the California College of the Arts. Hall grew concerned that much of this older work especially was in danger of being lost to the ravages of time unless it were archived; he also wanted to highlight the panoply of truly world-class queer cartoonists who’ve been in our midst all along, many of whom to this day do not get the recognition they deserve. In his introduction he states his 3 main criteria for selecting work, in descending order of importance: artistic merit, historical import, and representational. Naturally for a fanboy like me, much of this work is quite familiar and a joy to see again, including some of my all-time favorites: Burton Clarke’s “Cy Ross and the Snow Queen Syndrome,” Sina’s lovely, whimsical tone poem “Cigarettes,” Robert Triptow’s classic “I Know You Are But What Am I” (now in color!), Howard Cruse’s brilliant “Billy Goes Out” (one of his real career highlights), a selection of Jerry Mills’s “Poppers” strips (when is someone going to finally release a collection of this great cartoonist’s work?), and the hilarious “My Darling Deadly Dyke” by Lee Marrs. There is also great work here that I’d never seen before (Joyce Farmer’s “Slice of Life”) and some tremendously talented creators I’d never even heard of (namely, Nazario and Fabrice Neaud). So happily I still have other worlds to explore in this not-as-small-as-I- thought niche of the larger alt-comics niche. Anyone who edited this book would have switched some things around, picked different stories by some of the artists here, or tossed some artists in favor of others. That much is a given; I certainly would have done some things differently. But Hall did an overall superlative job with a mammoth, very difficult task. And to my mind he could not have chosen better, non-Fun Home or “Dykes to Watch Out For” short pieces by Alison Bechdel than “My Own Private Michigan Hell” and her pointed, too-true “Oppressed Minority Cartoonist,” nor funnier, loopier stories to represent Ed Luce’s Wuvable Oaf and co. than “Worst Dates” or "Straight Street" starring Oaf's buddy, Smusherrr. Other cartoonists I felt were perfectly represented in No Straight Lines include Craig Bostick, Michael Fahy, Edie Fake, Andy Hartzell, David Kelly, Kris Dresen, Erika Moen (her “So Much Pussy” is one of the true laugh out loud moments of the book), Roxxie, and Joey Alison Sayers. And these are just the ones off the top of my head. Let’s hope this collection isn’t simply an endpoint but more a harbinger of more such books to come and for more work and better visibility for non-straight type alt-comics creators. Only time will tell. Some readers and publishers still feel that gay subject matter is not something that non-gays can be interested in or relate to, to which I say nonsense: good storytelling is universal. This book gets the full five stars from me, no question.

  • Ije the Devourer of Books
    2019-04-22 01:38

    This is an excellent collection of LGBTQ comics from over the last forty years. It includes a range of comic strips from artists including Jon Macy, Eric Orner, Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse and Steve MacIsaac. I am a great fan of both graphic novels and gay fiction and for me it is excellent when the two combine and are presented in one book. This fabulous set of cartoon strips is not just about romance, all kinds of relationships and life situations are found here. It is a volume that shows humour, love, politics, sexuality and different dimensions of life from a LGBTQ perspective. In this way it opens a door to LGBTQ history and to issues and thinking that many of us 'straight' people may not have glimpsed. A brilliant volume of excellent graphics. I hope the popularity of Queer comics and Queer story lines within more popular comics will continue to grow.

  • Raina
    2019-04-06 00:57

    I'm totally thrilled by the number of pieces in here I hadn't read. My lovely friend, Sara, got this for me for a holiday a while ago, and when I finally got to read it, I loved that so many of the pieces are hard to find elsewhere. Not because I think they should be hard to find, but because they are not hard to find because they are here, in this widely available anthology. Killer.

  • MariNaomi
    2019-04-12 08:02

    This book is so beautiful and carefully curated. I was thrilled to finally read some old gems I'd heard about for years, be introduced to some comics artists I'd never heard of, and revisit some I'm already familiar with. Justin Hall did an impeccable job with this one!

  • Dov Zeller
    2019-04-12 02:48

    A lot of fantastic comics in here. Just a bit hit or miss and random and the sections didn't necessarily make sense. Particularly the "trans creators, webcomics and stepping out of the ghetto" section. Huh?(there's very little here in the way of trans content). I was between a 3 and a 4.Love that Hothead Paisan is in here, and Jennifer Camper. Mary Wings. Eric Orner. Burton Clarke. Allison Bechdel. Robert triptow. Interesting to have such a mix of style and content--one panel comcs, one-page comics, multi-page stories, a lot of memoir-type work and more fictional or fictionalized narratives. the lack of thematic and stylistic cohesiveness is at times fun and at times distracting. Wondrful to discover and rediscover a world of wonderful artists. A lot of really touching and funny moments. Glad I came across this one.

  • Liz De Coster
    2019-04-25 05:04

    Interesting, though hit-or-miss, as with most anthologies.

  • Alex
    2019-04-11 04:01

    I was at the library picking up Water For Elephants and saw this on the shelf and picked it up because of the cover/title/subject matter. I had zero expectations or understanding of what the book would be. I hoped the book would be a lot funnier/clever but it did not live up to what I built it up to be in my mind.The cover shows a bunch of stereotypical gay characters, bright colors, all of the people smiling, etc. so I thought it was going to be funny comics. This wasn't really the case for a lot of the entries. A lot of this book draws from comics from the 70s and 80s when being gay was not socially acceptable. Several comics seem like they were the artist's struggle and search to come to terms with sexuality, identity, etc. There are two main reasons I gave this only 2 stars. 1) The book wasn't as funny/interesting as I thought it would be. The cover art is amazing - the colors, the drawing, the teaser to get you to pick up the book. (I'd give the cover 5 stars). But inside a lot of the comics were sad, confused, etc. I don't have a problem with an artist using this medium to try to come to terms with identity and sexuality, I was just hoping for/expecting something more comical. 2) A lot of the comics didn't make sense. There were several entries that just had no point or plot. They weren't sad or depressing or unfunny - they just made no sense to me. By the end of the book I was glad to be done. Glad I read it, but glad there wasn't any more to it.I do think this is an ambitious project and I think for a different person this would be a great resource. If you're a person struggling with sexuality/identity/gender/social acceptance, etc. this book is a great resource. There are comics about gay men, lesbians, transgendered people, straight people and more. I also like the title: "No Straight Lines" refers to the blurry/hazy world of sexuality. The editor argues that there are no straight lines - it isn't just gay or straight. There are so many subtleties and nuances to sexuality and gender identity that it's impossible to label yourself or be rigidly defined by straight lines. The idea behind the book, the diversity of comics offered, and the resource it can be are all excellent. But for me the substance of the book and the execution of that idea missed the mark.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-14 01:00

    A great collection of literary (not strictly erotic) works from three major time periods in queer comic publishing. On the whole a wonderful look at the history -- the short essay at the start of the book informs the reader of some of the general happenings, innovations, and social forces at work, and gives some of the big names. After that the works speak for themselves. Some are trite, some silly, some intensely moving. A wide variety of reasonably influential creators are represented, though I wish that the modern era of webcomic creators and independent, self-published creators was better represented -- that's where some of the best stuff is going on! Thematically the anthology varies as well, which is nice to see. However, some works weren't represented as well as I would have liked due to lack of space to put in full stories, though this is always an issue with anthologies. Luckily Hall thought to add a list of recommended reading in the back, to point out the important longer-form works by some creators. I'm excited to read my digital copy of Anything That Loves, because I think it will be more up my alley in terms of what I look for in an anthology work (as submissions were created for it) and is highly appealing thematically.

  • Tara
    2019-03-26 00:55

    I can't really bring myself to rate this. There were a lot of comics I didn't care for and some interesting editorial choices, but No Straight Lines makes a good round-up of queer comics history. I wish there was some wider variation among identities presented, but I'm not sure if that's the editor's fault or The Industry's. A number stories here I was surprisingly already familiar with, but there were plenty of surprises. I think what makes it worth it is the comics picked out from around The Plague, that made me at least, feel like I was reading something beyond myself.

  • Jeff
    2019-04-24 00:00

    This is a decent collection providing an interesting overview of the recent development of queer comics. The editor is constrained by having to pick pieces that are short in length, which also means that some of the pieces are pretty humdrum. But on the other hand, there are stellar inclusions from Howard Cruse, Ed Luce, Ralf Konig, and others that manage to keep the entire collection above water. If you have any interest in queer comics at all, this is a great place to learn about the major contributors and get an idea of the territory covered to date.

  • Oscar E
    2019-03-25 05:50

    Absolutely enjoyable and sometimes heart breaking. The good thing with anthologies is that they bring together a varied selection of what has been produced. The bad thing with anthologies is that they only bring a sample, and they always leave you wanting for more. At least Justin Hall wrote a sustancial introduction with lots of tips for further reading.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-16 23:52

    This was a really great collection, probably the best collection of queer comics I have ever seen. Comprehensive and inclusive to the L, G, B, and the T. My longer review is available at bisexual-books.tumblr.com.

  • C.E. G
    2019-03-28 02:36

    This collection was pretty fun - the majority of the comics were a bit boring, but some were really funny or touching. As for the editing job, I thought the introduction could have been more interesting, and the dates of the comics should have been included.

  • VeganMedusa
    2019-04-03 04:58

    Interesting, but would mean more to someone who'd lived through the times and/or experiences. Some of the strips seemed plucked at random out of a story and didn't make any sense to me.

  • Danielle
    2019-03-28 04:53

    So many cartoon dicks.But for reals, this is some grade A queer history right here.

  • Natalie Cannon
    2019-03-27 08:04

    My local library has a surprisingly marginalized community-centric comic book section, and NO STRAIGHT LINES seemed like a good place to start. The editor, Justin Hill, provides an excellent introduction for his book, and he outlines the goals and limits of the anthology with apologies that he couldn't include more. There are then little essays giving broadstroke overviews of each era of queer comics, providing context and highlighting influential artists and writers. Hill's writing is informative, celebratory, and accessible. I felt satisfied immediately.Then, I got to main point of the book: the comics. While the front matter had buzzed my little brain cells, the actual comics went right for the heart. The book itself is a hefty one, but it got heavier and heavier as I read. As an art medium, comics bring an immediacy like no other medium does. The characters on the page weren't existing decades ago: they were struggling right before my eyes. I could feel the pulsing weight of their happiness, anxieties, hardships, and triumphs. As a bisexual woman, I emotionally realized the history I was inheriting. It is full of enduring pain and joys snatched right out of the jaws of indifference and homophobic cruelty. Many, many comics centered on the AIDS crisis, and, at some points, I had to put the book down for a breather.If I had any quibbles, it would be the heavy focus on lesbian and gay comics. Bisexuality is mentioned briefly, and more often than not in a disparaging way. Lots of "lesbian who sleeps with one man" instead of "bisexual with a preference for women." Asexuality is seen exactly once, but not explained by name: the character shouts "I'm nothing!" and is saved from this oh-so-awful fate via genie-granted wish. Intersex people are not mentioned by name, only hinted at via characters who present as genderqueer. In addition, I was expecting more transgender comics. Hill explains in his intro that the transgender comic scene didn't gain popularity until recently, but there were still more L & G comics in the modern comic section. I suppose I'll just Google that all myself.In his beginning, Hill encourages readers treat the book like a collection of signposts, to use these brief excerpts to find your future favorite comic. Sound advice, though I gave up on the project when I realized I wanted to read all of them. The limits of representation don't keep NO STRAIGHT LINES from being a deeply moving homage to subversive art, and I recommend it to any person who wants to learn more about the queer comic scene and ear-to-the-ground queer history. Despite not being pictured as I would like to be, this book changed me and I love it.

  • Emilia P
    2019-04-17 05:04

    Yo dawgs, people have been making queer comics for a long time. More so even than seeing styles and stuff change, it's really really interesting (and telling? and ....thought-provoking?) to see how the tones and themes change from decade to decade. From Mary and fairy jokes and butch queens in the 70s to all trans issues all the time in recent years, queer history moves at....sort of light speed? With introductory essays to each decade, this was pretty well curated, although content veered from thick to thin quickly. And ...I may be misremembering but there probably could have been more wimmen's stuff. There could always be more. RIGHT.

  • Charles
    2019-04-05 03:45

    Disappointingly few trans comics featured, personally.

  • Ian
    2019-04-02 02:39

    As Hall himself points out in his introduction, this isn't a definitive catalogue of all queer comics for the last forty years, but it is an interesting snapshot in the development of queer themed comics.My main complaint here is about the layout of the book. It's divided into three sections, each dealing with a different time period, and each of these has a written explanation of the era... but these explanations are all clumped together at the beginning of the book, rather than being at the beginning of the section (I also think there's a couple of comics that are mentioned in the first section but placed in the second, which is weird).

  • Ariel Caldwell
    2019-04-14 06:35

    Four decades of queer comics piled into one tome is one heavy read! I am glad this book exists, and chronicles the history of the queer comics movement, but it was too much for me to read at this point.

  • Danielle
    2019-04-12 01:36

    I feel bad for giving this collection one star, because I do recognize it for its importance in queer history, and I do commend the author for compiling all of these comics. But for me personally, 99% of these comics just weren't my taste. Most of them are definitely pretty graphic and erotic, as well as being more on the bizarre, avant garde side. (To be specific, a lot of cock-sucking and ejaculation, for lack of a more sensitive way to phrase that.) There were comics here and there, though, that I liked and where I caught some of the historical context, like the AIDS era. Again, most of these comics just weren't for me—I mean literally, they're not for straight people, which is great! I definitely appreciate the significance of this book, but I doubt I'll ever give this a re-read.

  • Stewart Tame
    2019-04-04 06:56

    In his introduction, Justin Hall explains that he began this project with the intent of making the definitive queer comics anthology. It soon became apparent what an impossible task that would be, and he was forced to settle for merely a very good anthology instead. I'm not sure that should be considered a failure. This is an excellent book, and, with the exception of manga, which would really be a whole other book, I can't think of any significant creators of LGBTQ themed work who aren't represented here. And there has apparently been a LOT of recent work which was completely new to me. I'm not going to try to review every single story in here, but here are some random thoughts. -- Always happy to read anything by Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, Tim Barela, Ellen Forney, Maurice Vellekoop, and Jeff Krell. -- I'd forgotten Kurt Erichsen even existed. I definitely remember reading "Home Movies" before. -- Trina Robbins' "Sandy Comes Out" deserves props for historic importance, but it's far from being her best story. It barely even qualifies as a vignette. -- I need to read more of Christine Smith's "The Princess." From the format, I'm assuming it's possibly a webcomic? -- I'd previously only known Ralf König from The Killer Condom. Nice to see more of his work.All in all, this was an excellent book. Highly recommended!

  • Justin Lee
    2019-03-26 04:35

    I found this anthology in a bookstore in Seattle. I was surprised that such an anthology existed- an anthology that contained comics that were specific to the GLBT community from the past 40+ years. The comics contained herein were heartbreaking, humorous, sexy, and engaging. It opened my mind to a perspective I might not have had before reading. Seeing characters deal with being trans, feeling like their not fitting in within the community itself, trying to figure out their own sexuality and the different ways people were represented was beautiful. If you're curious about LGBT representation in comics, I highly recommend this anthology. I picked it up based on the following review that the bookstore had: "Oh darling, the glitter oeuvre you now hold in your hands is the kind of glamorous archive that people like us have wanted for a long time: the collected comics of dykes, bis, queers, trans*-everyone, femmes, butch, et cetera, from the last 40 years. Yes, honey I know, squee! indeed. -dave" Thank you Dave. You got me to read this and I'm very glad that I did. Many of these artists and authors I will look for and find other of their works if it is available. If you identify as queer and are looking to see yourself in some shape, form or fashion represented, then I urge you to pick it up and enjoy.

  • Jeffery Dennis
    2019-03-28 00:51

    Mega-depressing. Who knew queer people were all generation x-ers with dreary jobs and dull love lives? Or that queer comics were all about homophobia and AIDS?God forbid editor Justin Hall select anything non-naturalistic, in spite of the superhero and space alien on the cover. No animal strips, no science fiction or fantasy strips, hardly anything but pure autobiography, dull humdrum everyday boring autobiography. Hardly any humor strips were included, and when Hall did stoop to include one, he took great pains to find the most angst-ridden among them. No joie de vivre in "Poppers"; the strip selected was the only one in the entire strip's run that had the characters talking about all of the friends they'd lost to AIDS. No gender-bending hilarity in "Chelsea Boys"; the strip selected was about the death of an aging, long-forgotten gay icon.Um. . .sorry, but is reading comics supposed to be depressing?This book is not representative of queer comics. It's just representative of the depressing, self-referential ones.

  • Lauren
    2019-04-07 02:01

    There is probably no way I would have rated this book anything other than 5 stars, as a lover of comics/graphic novels, queer history, and basically anything gay this book was meant for me. However, even though I went in knowing I would love it, it still impressed me. This book gave a really comprehensive history of queer comics (many of which I never knew about), but by doing so also gave an amazing overview of queer history. This book did not shy away from anything - great stuff.The only complaint I have is my own dislike when excerpts from comics/graphic novels are used and the context of the piece is lost. I think for some of the selections some introduction/explanation/even a date and title needed to be provided or else the reader can be a bit confused - or maybe it's just me...

  • Adriane
    2019-04-13 03:45

    No Straight Lines is a comic collection/retrospective of gay comics and they're evolution along the years. It follows very closely the correlation of gay political feeling and social and societal change. From the sexual revolution in the 60's and 70's to the AiDs crisis of the 80's and 90's up to today's social media trends and the increase in awareness of trans issues. I especially liked the exposure and range of artists genres and topics, I like getting exposed to artists I've never heard of and seeing new sides of artists I'm familiar with, I would highly recommend this one.

  • Ma'Belle
    2019-04-20 23:37

    I finally finished reading this fantastic anthology, which I borrowed from the library along with a bunch of others from a reading list put together for the various LGBTQ panels at the recent Denver Comic Con. I think I need to buy a copy of this (It retails for just $35, which is an amazing deal!). I will be busy adding further reading to my to-read list for a while now. No Straight Lines is the most well-rounded, culturally and historically significant anthology of comics or queer writings I've found anywhere, period.

  • M—
    2019-03-30 04:59

    This is not light or casual reading and many of the comics printed here are excerpts of much longer works. It's an overview work, exactly what it says on the box, but it's a work with a rather narrow audience in mind. My casual enjoyment of comics and LGBT fiction was not enough to hold me to do more than skim this book... but the comics in here that did hold my interest were incredibly moving. Four stars.Related review:The Smut Peddler

  • Maia
    2019-04-06 23:47

    No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queergot an Eisner nomination this summer for best comics anthology. This hefty book includes samples from hundreds of different comic artists' work, including some that had never before been published in the US. It begins with underground gay comix and gag strips from the 1970s, includes comics written during the AIDs epidemic and proceeds chronologically all the way up to modern day queer and trans webcomics. And excellent survey of this genre!