“No Straight Lines” An Upcoming Documentary About Queer Comics Shows The Importance Of Visibility For LGBTQ Artists And Readers!!
Justin Hall is a cartoonist and a professor of comics and has created the book called “No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics”. The visually striking work, that won the Lambda Literary Prize and was nominated for an Eisner award, not only features seminal and important material for the LBGTQ community but also brings front and center lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer comics creators. They have contributed with their art to the myriad expressions of queer life in different mediums such as underground comics, zines and comic strips from newspapers.
Now Justin is expanding his passion project from the printed pages and has turned the material into a full length documentary with the help of Peabody Award-winning and national Emmy-nominated film-maker Vivian Kleiman. The timing for this project, that is looking to complete its final Kickstarter round of funding, couldn’t be better. The ongoing success of comics especially found in movie adaptations like Wonder Woman and Black Panther shows that audiences have the appetite and are ready to embrace more representation in every aspect of the word. But not everything is about superheroes in these comics, this is exactly why a documentary like this proves its right to exist. To know where things are going is necessary to reflect and take a retrospective look at those pioneers that paved the way for today’s Queer artists and to keep an eye on contemporary creators who are currently building the next wave.
Make the jump to get to know more about this documentary and let us know what you think in the comments!
Kleiman, who has executive produced an Academy Award nominated short documentary, seems like the perfect match for the project. She has blueprinted the docu with Hall, who curated major shows at the SF Cartoon Art Museum and Berlin’s Schwules Museum, to profile five different artists to tell their lives in a candid and uncensored manner.
Howard Cruse affectionately nicknamed the “Godfather of LGBTQ Comics” and his partner of 40 years Eddie makes an appearance in the film at his home studio in Western Massachusetts.
The anthology book that will originate the documentary was published by Fantagraphics Books in 2012. “No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics” was nominated for the 2013 Eisner Awards and won the a Lambda Literary Award.
Also in the project is Mary Wings, the creator of the first lesbian comic book has already filmed her interview and even showed her talent with the accordion.
Many will recognize the hugely popular men of “Wuvable Oaf” by the talented Ed Luce who is joined by Syrian-American artist Nicole Georges, African-American artist Ajuan Mance and Bronx artist Ivan Velez Jr. one of the first openly gay creators to break into mainstream comics.
Images via: Kickstarter
Although large parts are ready for the editing process, principal photography of the documentary is waiting the Kickstart backing to be completed. If the goal is achieved it will allow the film-makers to travel across the country to visit queer comics legend Rupert Kinnard (creator of the first gay/lesbian African-American comic strip characters who is wheelchair bound by an accident) in Portland, Lebanese-American lesbian cartoonist Jen Camper in Manhattan, and to make a pick-up shoot with the previously mentioned artists who have already contributed with their time telling their incredible lives on camera for the epilogue. If you’re moved by this project like everyone is at QC then we encourage you to donate, every pledge has a reward.
We wish the best of luck to Justin and Vivian and we’re keeping our fingers crossed to see this beautiful film completed!