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No straight lines: Alison Bechdel and the unstoppable rise of ***** comics

The artist discusses her role in an eye-opening new documentary that trails the history of LGBTQ+ comic books and the people behind them Among other things, the story of LGBTQ+ liberation is a story of spaces. For as long as the LGBTQ+ community has sought freedom and equality, it has been essential for this group to have places both concrete and metaphorical where they can safely gather, emote, care for one another and understand their identities. Those spaces have not always been so easy to find, and creativity has been essential. No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics, the Peabody award–winning film-maker Vivian Kleiman’s latest documentary, is about how comics became a site in the struggle for queer people to have room to exist. It tells how a foundational generation of artists, including Howard Cruse, Mary Wings, Jennifer Camper and Rupert Kinnard, fought against censorship against their very existence by creating and distributing their own comics in the 1960s and 70s. It then follows that story down through the generations, integrating the careers of later creators like Alison Bechdel and the Gen Z artists who are again redefining how the LGBTQ+ comics world looks and where it is found. Continue reading...

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