1st Edition

“Suffering Sappho!” Lesbian Content and Queer Female Characters in Comics

    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    Comics have been an important locus of queer female identity, community, and politics for generations. Whether taking the form of newspaper strips, comic books, or graphic novels and memoirs, the medium has a long history of featuring female same-sex attraction, relationships, and identity. This book explores the past place, current presence, and possible future status of lesbianism in comics.

    What role has the medium played in the cultural construction, social (and literal) visibility, and political advocacy of same-sex female attraction and identity? Likewise, how have these features changed over time? How have nonheteronormative female characters been raced, classed, and gendered? What is the relationship between lesbian comics and queer comics? What role has the medium played in establishing the distinction between lesbian and queer female identity as well as blurring, reinforcing, or policing it? What roles have queer female comics, characters, and cartoonists played in the origins, history, and evolution of sequential art as a genre? The essays in this book inspire an engagement with these and other questions as well as provide an exploration of possible answers. They provide a compelling examination of a variety of important titles, characters, creators, topics, themes, and issues.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Lesbian Studies.


    Michelle Ann Abate, Karly Marie Grice and Christine N. Stamper

    1. Lovers, enemies, and friends: The complex and coded early history of lesbian comic strip characters

    Caitlin McGurk

    2. A regressive formula of perversity: Wertham and the women of comics

    Carol L. Tilley

    3. Making space: Jennifer Camper, LGBTQ anthologies, and queer comics communities

    Margaret Galvan

    4. Representations of same-sex relationships between female characters in all-ages comics: Princess Princess Ever After and Lumberjanes

    Erica Gillingham

    5. Situating Cyberzone: Black lesbian identity in comics

    Sheena C. Howard

    6. Survival angst: Reading Hothead Paisan in the Trump era

    Cynthia Barounis

    7. "There is no such thing as a straight woman": Queer female representations in South Asian graphic narratives

    Poushali Bhadury

    8. PoC, LGBTQ, and gender: The intersectionality of America Chavez

    Laura M. Jiménez


    Michelle Ann Abate is Professor of Literature for children and young adults at The Ohio State University.

    Karly Marie Grice is Assistant Professor of English Education at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.

    Christine N. Stamper is independent scholar based in Michigan.