No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics

cover of No Straight Lines

No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics. Ed. by Justin Hall. Fantagraphics Books, 2012. Hardcover. 308p. $35. 978-1-60699-506-8.

This showcase of GLBT comics from the past forty years is absolutely fascinating, especially in giving the reader a wide variety of topics impacting the GLBT community. Arranged chronologically, the comics are split into three sections: pre-AIDS, the AIDS epidemic, and contemporary comics.

The comics before the AIDS epidemic were more light- hearted, less concerned with serious topics. When AIDS began affecting the GLBT community, the comics take a much darker tone as shown in both the subject matter and the art.  In comparison, the more contemporary GLBT comics speak more about trans and bi topics, living with HIV, and being a survivor.

No Straight Lines exposes the reader to a wide variety of artistic styles and voices.  An excellent introduction by editor Justin Hall gives a short overview of the history of queer comics.

Because the comics include explicitly sexual topics, this collection is suggested for a mature audience.  The collection would be best suited for an academic or public library to expand their GLBT section and could be suggested to patrons who are interested in comics, GLBT history, and/or DIY culture.

Reviewer: Talia Earle, MLIS Student
St. Catherine University, Minnesota

 

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