The Routledge Companion to Gender and Sexuality in Comic Book Studies  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Gender and Sexuality in Comic Book Studies

ISBN 9780367505295
Published April 29, 2022 by Routledge
594 Pages 217 B/W Illustrations

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USD $56.95

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Book Description

The Routledge Companion to Gender and Sexuality in Comic Book Studies is a comprehensive, global, and interdisciplinary examination of the essential relationship between Gender, Sexuality, Comics, and Graphic Novels.

A diverse range of international and interdisciplinary scholars take a closer look at how gender and sexuality have been essential in the evolution of comics, and how gender and sexuality in comics demand that we re-frame and re-view comics history. Chapters cover a wide array of intersectional topics including Queer Underground and Alternative comics, Feminist Autobiography, re-drawing disability, Latina testimony, and re-evaluating the critical whiteness and masculinity of superheroes in this first truly global reference text to gender and sexuality in comics.

Comics have always been an important place for the radical exploration of feminist and non-binary sexualities and identities, and the growth of non-normative comic book traditions as a field of inquiry makes this an essential text for upper-level undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers studying Comics Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Literary Studies, and Cultural Studies.

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations

List of Contributors

Gender and Sexuality in Comics: The Told, Untold Stories

Frederick Luis Aldama

Part I: Interrogating Restrictive Frames

Chapter 1: Translating Masculinity: The Significance of the Frontier in American Superheroes

Patrick L. Hamilton

Chapter 2: Black Boys and Black Girls in Comics: An Affective and Historical Mapping of Intertwined Stereotypes

Maaheen Ahmed

Chapter 3: Pocket-Sized Pornography: Representations of Sexual Violence and Masculinity in Tijuana Bibles

Erin Barry

Chapter 4: The Comic-Strip in Advertising: Persuasion, Gender, Sexuality

Constance de Silva

Chapter 5: Real Men Choose Vasectomy: Questioning and Redefining Mexican National Masculinity in Los Supermachos, from Rius to Anonymous Authors

Annick Pellegrin

Chapter 6: Marriage, Domesticity and Superheroes (For Better or Worse)

Jeffrey A. Brown

Chapter 7: "Is that a monster between your legs or are ya just happy to see me?": Sex, Subjectivity, and the Superbody in the Marvel Swimsuit Special

Anna F. Peppard

Part II: Ethnoracial Queer and Feminist Space Clearing Gestures

Chapter 8: Life Out Loud in the Closet: The Grotesque as Latinx Imagination in Cristy C. Road’s Spit and Passion

Jennifer Caroccio Maldonado

Chapter 9: Graphic (Narrative) Presentations of Violence Against Indigenous Women: Responses to the MMIW Crisis in North America

James J. Donahue

Chapter 10: From "Accidental" Autobiography to Comics Activism: Tracing the Development of an Andalusian-Chinese Feminism in the Work of Comics Artist Quan Zhou

Jennifer Nagtegaal

Chapter 11: Plea Deal Compounds: Black Women’s Anger in "the System" of Bitch Planet

Katlin Marisol Sweeney

Part III: Back to the Future

Chapter 12: Panels of Innocence and Experience: Reading Sexual Subjectivity Through Horror Comics

Sara Austin

Chapter 13: Teenage Biology 101: Serializing a Queer Girlhood in Ariel Schrag's Potential

Rachel R. Miller

Chapter 14: Genre, Gender, Sexual, Textual and Visual, and Real Representations in Bande Dessinée

C(h)ris Reyns-Chikuma

Chapter 15: A Comics Écriture Féminine: Anke Feuchtenberger’s Feminist Graphic Expression

Elizabeth "Biz" Nijdam

Chapter 16: "I’m Trapped In Here!" Gender Performativity and Affect in Emma Ríos's I.D.

Mikel Bermello Isusi

Chapter 17: Empirical Looking: Situating the Multiple Elements of Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout as Vehicles for Articulating a Place for Women in Science

Lisa DeTora

Part IV: Counterpublics

Chapter 18: From Anodyne Animals to Filthy Beasts: Defying and Defiling Safety, Sanctity, and Sexual Suppression in Underground Animal Comics

Daniel F. Yezbick

Chapter 19: Wonder Woman’s Complicated Relationship with Feminism

George Thomas

Chapter 20: "Part of Something Bigger": Ms./Captain Marvel

Carolyn Cocca

Chapter 21: Higher, Further, Faster Baby! The Feminist Evolution of Carol Danvers from Comics to Film

Sam Langsdale

Chapter 22: Female Fans, Female Creators, and Female Superheroes: The Semiotics of Changing Gender Dynamics

Angela Ndalianis

Chapter 23: Public-Facing Feminisms: Subverting the Lettercol in Bitch Planet

Brenna Clarke Gray

Chapter 24: "I’d Like Everything That’s Bad For Me!": Tank Girl’s Cracks in Patriarchal Pop Culture

Susan Kerns

Chapter 25: Falling In or Stepping Out: Little Red Formation as Agentic Gender Construction in Lumberjanes

Karly Marie Grice

Part V: Worldly Interventions

Chapter 26: "A Revelation Not of the Flesh, but of the Mind": Performing Queer Textuality in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home

Maite Urcaregui

Chapter 27: BLOOD, or: Gender and Nation in the Contemporary Polish Comic

Kalina Kupczynska

Chapter 28: My Grandmother Collects Memories: Gender and Remembrance in Hispanic Graphic Narratives

Radmila (Lale) Stefkova

Chapter 29: Feminist Riots and Gay Giants: The Mayo Feminista and Cultural Context of Contemporary Queer Chilean Comics

Sam Cannon

Chapter 30: Questioning Obscenity: The Place of "Pussy" in Manga and the World

Lindsey Stirek

Chapter 31: See Him, See Her, See Xir: LGBTQ Visibility in Shōnen Manga at the Turn of the Century

Zachary Michael Lewis Dean

Chapter 32: An Age of Sparkle and Drama: Exploring Gender Identities and Cultural Narratives in 1970s Shōjo Manga

Lorna Piatti-Farnell


Part VI: Queer and Feminist Intermedial Textures

Chapter 33: Representing the Extreme End-point of Sexual Violence: ethical strategies in Phoebe Gloeckner’s La Tristeza

Rebecca Scherr

Chapter 34: The People Upstairs: Space, Memory, and the Queered Family in My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris

Shiamin Kwa

Chapter 35: Fat Bats, Postpunks, and Ice Witches: Afrogoth and the Undead Music of Militia Vox and the Comix of Calyn Pickens Rich

Deborah Elizabeth Whaley

Chapter 36: Catherine Meurisse and the Gender of Art

Margaret C. Flinn

Chapter 37: My Life With Toys: An Academic Esai into the Queer Multipurposing of Toys as Interrupted by the Author’s Life

Jonathan Alexandratos

Chapter 38: "Bobby…You’re Gay": Marvel’s Iceman, Performativity, Continuity, and Queer Visibility

Bryan Bove

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Frederick Luis Aldama is Distinguished University Professor at the Ohio State University. He is the award-winning author, co-author, and editor of over 40 books, including the Eisner Award-winning Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics. He is the editor of nine book series, including Latinographix, a trade-press series that publishes Latinx graphic fiction and nonfiction. He is creator of the first documentary on the history of Latinx superheroes in comics (Amazon Prime) and co-founder and director of SÕL-CON: Brown & Black Comix Expo. He is the founder and director of the Obama White House award-winning LASER: Latinx Space for Enrichment & Research as well as the founder and co-director of the Humanities & Cognitive Sciences High School Summer Institute. He holds joint appointments in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and is faculty affiliate in Film Studies and the Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences. In 2020, he debuted his first children’s book, The Adventures of Chupacabra Charlie.


"Yet another milestone in Aldama’s overturning of long held misconceptions that the world of comics and graphic novels lacks space for marginalized voices and diverse perspectives, this collection is essential reading for anyone studying and, more importantly, making comics. While taking a comprehensive look back at gender and sexuality in cartooning of the past, the carefully curated essays suggest a future for comics where previously underrepresented voices will all have equal opportunity to take center stage"

Matt Silady, Eisner-nominated comics creator and Chair of the MFA in Comics program, California College of the Arts

"A veritable cornucopia of sophisticated, intersectional analysis that digs deep into the history of the comics industry and the sequential art medium to examine how gender and sexuality have shaped our understanding of storytelling, our worldview, and ourselves. This is a necessary compendium that will continue to push comics forward."

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief

"With its overarching intersectional framework used to investigate a medium uniquely suited for both personal exploration and collective expression, this volume goes way beyond a clichéd understanding of comics as a playground for pulp anxieties. A remarkably comprehensive tome on an elusive subject!"

Katie Skelly, award-winning comics creator and author of Maids with Fantagraphics