Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Self-oppressed Minority

I had a fun time speaking at Dartmouth yesterday. I delivered my getting-rather-old rant about being ghettoized as a lesbian cartoonist. "Why can’t I be just a plain, generic cartoonist," I whined. "Just because I write about drag kings and dildos and transgender children. I mean, what’s the big deal? I’m writing about my world just like Garry Trudeau writes about his, and no one calls him a heterosexual cartoonist." I read from a bitter cartoon essay I wrote for The Stranger a couple years ago,"Oppressed Minority Cartoonist," to punctuate my premise. Afterward, I was somewhat chastened but delighted to learn that James Sturm was in the audience. He is a.) one of the founders of The Stranger, b.) a great graphic novelist, c.) not a lesbian, and d.) the director of the Center for Cartooning Studies, an absolutely amazing 2 –year cartooning program that will be starting in the fall of 2005. Also in the audience was Ana Merino, an academic and poet who does a lot of theoretical writing about comics. She included some of my work in an exhibit that she curated last year called Comic Release. And she’s on the board of directors of the Center for Cartooning Studies. So the presence of these comics luminaries kind of shut me up about the “oppressed minority cartoonist” shtick. I've decided that the secret to being plain and generic is to just act like you're plain and generic.
Ah. The answer.

How great that it was fun and that comic luminaries were in attendance.

Susan Anonymous Stinson, here via livejournal feed.
First, I'm totally psched to see this blog!

Second, did you see Lynn Johnston's online chat at the Washington Post? She's the non-ghetto-ized cartoonist whose work most reminds me of DTWOF, and yet a lot of the things she (very good-naturedly) complains about in the chat are things you've (righteously, my sister) chafed at for years.
Cool interview with Lynn Johnston! I've been a little bugged by her storylines lately--the prudish, smarmy one about how girls shouldn't wear crop tops or short skirts, and the current one about a kitten. But it turns out the kitten story is just to soften us up for some tougher material she's planning to cover. She uses the Sears catalog as a photo reference. I did that for a long time but now I can Google anything I need so I tossed it. It's sad she's gonna quit the strip in three years. But I'm glad to have time to prepare myself.
But, to be fair, people do call Trudeau a political cartoonist; and I know people who don't read Doonesbury because it's "about politics".
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