LGBTQ Representation in Comics

Authored by: Ajuan Mance

The Routledge Companion to Comics

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415729000
eBook ISBN: 9781315851334
Adobe ISBN: 9781317915386

10.4324/9781315851334.ch32

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Abstract

In the world of comics, the depiction of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ, often shortened to “queer and trans”) characters has never been limited to queer and trans writers and artists. At the largest comics publishers in the US, the world’s largest comics market, heterosexual, cisgender (non-transgender) writers and artists have been significantly involved in bringing queer and trans characters and storylines to the public. Such representations have generally reflected the priorities and sensibilities of the mainstream readership, rather than the real-life experiences of queer and trans people. It has been primarily in the works of LGBTQ comic creators, published and distributed through underground, independent, and alternative presses, that readers have encountered LGBTQ storylines set in LGBTQ communities and featuring queer and trans characters whose interests, activities, and relationships resist mainstream, heteronormative identity categories, institutions, and ideals.

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