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The Rise of the American Comics ArtistCreators and Contexts$
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Paul Williams and James Lyons

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604737929

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604737929.001.0001

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Theorizing sexuality in Comics

Theorizing sexuality in Comics

Chapter:
(p.150) Chapter Nine Theorizing sexuality in Comics
Source:
The Rise of the American Comics Artist
Author(s):

Joe Sutliff Sanders

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604737929.003.0011

This chapter examines sexuality in contemporary comics and how it is represented in antagonistic historic relation to preexisting trends, such as those generated by official sanctions and the underground comix. It looks at how comics creators have pushed off against the mainstream and then pushed off against the alternative as they explore sexuality. The chapter begins by outlining the broader history of sexuality in American comics that is grounded in the particular to-and-fro of the industry’s odd history of revolutions, first against the mainstream, and then against the alternative press. It then describes a theory of sexuality in comics that emphasizes the ideological camps in the current debate about the medium’s depiction of sexuality. To prove its point, the chapter analyzes Diane DiMassa’s book Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist, which responds to the anti-misogynist movement while also anticipating the new wave of alternative comics exemplified by Jennifer Camper’s anthology Juicy Mother.

Keywords:   sexuality, comics, comics creators, alternative press, Diane DiMassa, Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist, anti-misogynist movement, alternative comics, Jennifer Camper, Juicy Mother

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