242 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Comics, Activism, Feminisms explores how comic art, activism, and feminisms are intertwined from both historical and contemporary perspectives and how comic art in itself can be a form of activism.

    Feminist comic art emerged with the second-wave feminist movements; today, in the 2020s, there are comics connected to social activist movements working for change in a variety of areas. Comics artists often react quickly to political events and make comics on topical issues, assuming a critical or satirical stance and highlighting the need for change. Comic art can point to problems, present alternatives, and give hope.

    Issues pertaining to feminisms and LGBTQIA+ issues, war and political conflict, climate crisis, the global migrant and refugee situation, and other societal problems engage comics artists from all parts of the world. The chapters illuminate aesthetic and thematic aspects of comics, activism, and feminisms globally. The founding of comics collectives, where Do-it-Ourselves is a strategy among activism-oriented artists, shows the use of a great variety of media such as fanzines, albums, webcomics, and exhibitions to communicate and disseminate activist comic art.

    Comics, Activism, Feminisms is an essential collection for scholars and students of comics, literary, art, and media studies, and gender studies.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    List of contributors



    1. Feminist comics activism: A global phenomenon

    Anna Nordenstam and Margareta Wallin Wictorin


    Part I: Activism in comics

    2. The role of performativity in comics as activism. Meaning-making in comic art by Amalia Alvarez and Sara Granér

    Mia Liinason

    3. Becoming an activist in the late 1970s – Tandem artists Gunna Grähs & Eva Lindström as pioneers of Swedish feminist comics

    Kristina Arnerud Mejhammar

    4. “It’s the same story every morning”: Urban Tails, queerness, and the subtle activism of the weekly comic strip

    Kevin Haworth

    5. Exploring ARTivism: Artistic activism and subversion in George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat”

    Daniela Kaufmann

    6. The frontlines of feminist activism in Ukraine: Feminism and the City

    Iryna Pinich and Kristy Beers Fägersten


    Part II: Comics as political space

    7. The female body politic and beyond: Feminist utopias and dystopias in American women’s comix from the 1970s

    Małgorzata Olsza

    8. Reimagining gender in Webtoon – queer utopianism in H-P Lehkonen’s Immortal Nerd and its reader-response

    Leena Romu

     9. Comics as art practice: Directly drawing on the wall in a museological context

    Meichen Lu

    10. Feminist comics in circulation. Pénélope Bagieu’s inscription on the Swedish comics landscape

    Ylva Lindberg


    Part III: Comics collectives 

    11. Women’s cartoons, comics, and graphic novels through the feminist lenses of DIO and friendship

    Nicola Streeten 

    12. Distant Connections: Connecting to the public through a zine on the gendered pandemic

    Renée B. Adams

    13. Moments of wonder and armies of care: Feminist attachments in Drawing the Line, Indian Women Fight Back!

    Nafiseh Mousavi

    14. Refugee comics and activism as comics work: The collaborative production of comics in the “Illustrating Me” project

    Ralf Kauranen




    Kristy Beers Fägersten is Professor of English Linguistics Head of English Department at Södertörn University. Beers Fägersten's research interests include pragmatics, sociolinguistics, and discourse and conversation analysis. MARGARETA WALLIN VICTORIN is a LECTURER IN CULTURAL STUDIES at KARLSTAD UNIVERSITY. She researches West African comics and graphic novels and contemporary African art, especially about Dak'Art, the Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary African Art in Dakar.