Re/Read: No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics


Re/Read is a regular feature by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid drawing attention to backlist books you may have missed or deserve another look. This time we’ll discuss No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, edited by Justin Hall.

Comics frequently play a prominent role in social justice movements. Such is the case in the LGBTQ community, as demonstrated by No Straight Lines. Cartoonist Justin Hall carefully curated a comprehensive anthology of contemporary comics covering themes of coming out, the response to the AIDS crisis, and current issues and attitudes facing the LGBTQ community. His insightful introduction places these comics in the context of major developments in political and popular culture.

In rereading this collection, I was reminded of the supportive role Fantagraphics Books played in publishing many of these accomplished cartoonists. It was noted that former Fantagraphics art director Roberta Gregory created the first self-published comic books series by a woman, Dynamite Damsels. Fantagraphics later issued her long running title, Naughty Bits. Early work by pioneering gay cartoonist Howard Cruse also found a home at Fantagraphics. Other contributors published by Fantagraphics include Joyce Farmer, Ellen Forney, Ed Luce, Trina Robbins, James Romberger, Robert Triptow, Marguerite Van Cook, and activist David Wojnarowicz, among others.

Fantagraphics continues its commitment to LGBTQ comics with an appearance by Ed Luce on Saturday, January 7, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, signing copies of his new graphic novel, Wuvable Oaf: Blood & Metal. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet this iconoclastic artist at Fantagraphics Bookstore, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle‘s historic Georgetown arts district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206-658-0110.