Hi, my name is Rob Kirby. Through the grace of the Radar Goddesses I’m here to trumpet the publication of my nice big new all-color comics anthology QU33R, from Zan Christensen’s Northwest Press, successfully funded on Kickstarter in late fall 2013.
QU33R had its genesis in a little queer comics zine I did from 2010 to 2012 called THREE, each issue of which was comprised of three stories by three creators or groups of creators. Seeking to expand the scope of the project, sometime in 2011 I approached Northwest Press about publishing a book-with-a-spine collection of contemporary LGBTQ alt-comics, and a deal was struck, baby. Meanwhile, in 2012 Justin Hall had produced No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics to awards and general acclaim. I loved how Justin’s book had shone a light on how queer-themed comics have evolved over the years and felt that QU33R could take the next logical step and make a statement as to the breadth and scope of queer comics in the present day. In particular, it’s interesting to see that many of the stories in QU33R are concerned less with basic issues of coming out and queer community and more about looking at issues of gender fluidity and questioning queer identity itself.
QU33R is comprised of 34 stories ranging from a 21-page coming of age mini-epic by Eric Orner to other stories looking at a wide variety of subject matter: familial and primary relationships, gender bending, hooking up and dating, depression and recovery, celebrity crushes, and so forth. I didn’t ask the contributing artists for specific story content, preferring to work within a looser structure in an effort to create little serendipitous thematic cycles. I feel this really paid off.
The cross-generational contributors range from longtime dyke inspirations like Jennifer Camper, Diane DiMassa, Kris Dresen and Carrie McNinch to hot gay boy talents like Justin Hall, Ed Luce, Jon Macy, and Sasha Steinberg, to non-cis gendered folk like Dylan Edwards, Edie Fake, and Christine Smith; not to mention the presence of several awesome grrrl cartoonists well known to Radar supporters and Sister Spit fans: Nicole Georges, MariNaomi, and Amanda Verwey. And so many more. It’s an exciting line up.
In the end QU33R is a testament to the fine work queer creators are contributing to comics, to the broader queer culture, and perhaps even beyond those realms. I hope that people who enjoy the anthology will continue to explore the work of the artists within and that of other creators -– there are many other artists I would have liked to have included in QU33R but space was already at a premium. I’ve said many times I could have doubled the number of artists and called the book QU66R.
Rob Kirby’s is the first post in our series Sister Spit Super Fans! Buy your copy of QU33R HERE!!!
I got turned out as a feminist pretty early.
I’m the one on the right.
My parents never told me I was pretty and bought me books about science and women in leadership positions. On news programs that we watched as a family, I noticed that Benazir Bhutto led a country while looking like my mom.
So, when I went to Mexico one December, and sat at the dining room table beside my abuelito, Guadalajara’s most charming womanizer, and heard him ask, “What kind of man are you going to marry?” my twelve-year-old mouth gave him a prompt response.
“I shall never marry,” I informed him. I paused, in order to give weight to my proclamation: “I am a feminist.”
In a condescendingly musical tone, Abuelito giggled. Then, as if I was a Chihuahua, he patted my bob.
“Don’t think so hard,” he advised me.
I wanted…to (Bikini) kill my abuelito.
Given my tween misandry, you’d think I’d have been 1000% on board once riot grrrl created its feminiche. I, however, was not. I climbed 50% on board.
From the RIOT GRRRL MANIFESTO.
I liked riot grrrl’s aesthetic.
I liked riot grrrl’s message.
I liked the using of yourself as a Post-it note.
I adored the tarantulas in the armpits.
I didn’t like the music. In my teens, I liked music that was faggier than what riot grrrl offered. I liked Wilde music, as in Oscar Wildean.
THE SMITHS FOR LIFE, ESE!
Now that I work in the classroom, attempting to dismantle the master’s house with his tools, I encounter riot grrrl descendants. These riot grandchildren tend to come out to me by scrawling Le Tigre or Bratmobile lyrics on my whiteboard, and as I foist my body in front of these words as the principal wanders into my room for a surprise visit, I wonder, “Was I this melodramatic as a teen queerdo?”
The Benazir Bhutto lookalike (my mom) would probably answer, “Mas.” In English, that’s more.
My teenaged bunnysitter, Salina, is one of these neo-riot crrreatures. She recently cared for my buns while my similarly-sexed lover and I went to Turkey (that’s what I call Thanksgiving: Let’s just semiotically cut to the chase) at my parents’. As part of her bunnysitting payment, I took LB’s local Tavi Gevinson to see the documentary THE PUNK SINGER, a film directed by Sini Anderson. THE PUNK SINGER tracks the career of Kathleen Hanna, her big ass contributions to riot grrrl, and her tribulations with Lyme disease. What follows is an electronic consciousness raising session (online interview) that Salina and I had about THE PUNK SINGER, feminism, and stuff.
GRRRBA: You identify as a feminist. I know this. Tell me what giving yourself that label does for you. Like what does it mean to you, how do you embody being a feminist, and what kinda shit do people give you for using the F word?
NEO-RIOT GRRRL SALINA: I’ve had people try to come burn my home down, pop the tires on my bike, and steal my skateboard. It definitely hasn’t made life easy. But on a lighter note, when, somehow, someone finds out I’m a feminist, or I tell them, it usually puts people off, and then they think I’m some crazy man-hating bitch. And that’s probably for the better anyways. To me, being a feminist, or identifying as one, pretty much means empowering womyn as they should be, but aren’t. Doing shit that isn’t looked upon as the norm, because it isn’t “lady like” or “pretty” and that’s okay. There isn’t any way for a womyn, girl, or female, to act necessarily. Too many females are looked down upon for things that men are praised for, and that really sux.
GRRRBA: I love the ironic story of how you got involved in riot grrrl. Tell me again.
NRGS: Like the little group I do stuff with or whatever? Well, I was with my dad one day in the car and he was dropping me off some where, and then later that evening he texted me to look up LBriotgrrrl (which you can also check out if you’re into that), and HE said they were mentioned on the radio, and they’re a group of feminists in the LB (obvi), and it’d be good for me to get into, because I have no friends. Oh, and my dad disapproves of my feminist behavior btw.
GRRRBA: Riot grrrl has been accused of being a racist movement. Something for white bitches. Tell me about Long Beach riot grrrls since white people are outnumbered in this town. How does this affect riot grrrl?
NRGS: Typical GRRRBA question. Well it’s a pretty multicultural kind of thing I guess (I hope I used that word right………………………….), there isn’t really a large amount of any race in the group, from what I know of. There for sure aren’t very many black grrrls, well, none that I’ve seen.
GRRRBA: What do you do at riot grrrl meetings?
NRGS: Pretty much talk about the general public’s view of women, feminism, and things like that. Also discuss shit like the fact that one lady from [CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN] was retaliated against [by the MPAA for] having a scene where she receives oral sex…and like it doesn’t make sense that in movies there are always those types of scenes where a men is receiving oral but when a lady has it done, it’s like gross. Also, we do bike rides, tons of workshops where you can learn new stuff. That sort of thing! Basically do things that a feminist might do.
GRRRBA: What feminists, and womyn in general, do you look up to? Why?
NRGS: None really. Not because I don’t think there are any worthy or whatever, but because I’d like [a role model] to be someone I know and hands on learned from. But I like a lot of like DIY feminist ladies, like who make feminist art and stuff. I like Frida Kahlo a lot, too, especially because she was the first lady I knew of at age like 6 or something, that was into ladies and shit. And also the way she viewed and carried herself is like constantly being redone now among the feminist society, and that’s kinda cool.
I really like Debra Harry, she was someone I grew up loving and was really into. I liked how she hated the whole r&b trio thing that’s really cool, and how she didn’t wanna be some whiny brokenhearted bitch. And she wasn’t. Joy De Vivre, Eve Libertine, Vi Subversa, Jane Fonda, Joan Jett, Liz Phair, and some other people I can’t think of. I’d say you, but that’d be too cheesy.
GRRRBA: Okay, so we watched the movie the PUNK SINGER the other night. Did you enter into the movie theatre with expectations? What did you learn about riot grrrl, Bikini Kill, or Kathleen Hanna that made you think: “Whoa?”
NRGS: I thought the movie would actually go more into Hanna instead of glorifying her, not to take away from the credit she deserves I guess. But it was supposed to be a documentary, and usually documentaries have the good and the bad. And they talk about the person in a way we feel we can relate, or at least believe they’re a real person. And in the movie that never really happened. They just kept saying how great Kathleen was. I didn’t really learn anything besides the fact she had that lyme disease, which they didn’t even explain at all. [It]…disappointed me and lead me to believe that Hanna wasn’t all she is cracked up to be…
GRRRBA: Do you feel a personal connection to Kathleen Hanna. Do you feel like she is somehow connected to you through her art and activism?
NRGS: No. Sorry.
GRRRBA: Let’s discuss Hanna’s bossiness. I don’t like bossiness because I’M THE BOSS. I enjoy bossing people around. Do you think Hanna’s bossiness was critical to her success? Do you like bossy women?
NRGS: That’s a very honest thing for you to admit! Hm, well, no and yes, I think Bikini Kill ended because of her bossiness. But I think it did play a huge part because that’s what made people so aroused by her, she was some little half naked youngster screaming and dancing around and telling boys that these bitches can’t hold her back, and that’s like huge. I don’t like when someone is rude, so if you’re bossy in a good way I guess I probably wouldn’t really notice or care. But I do like people with stern attitude and backbone. I like a lady who knows what she wants and isn’t worried about getting it or afraid to.
GRRRBA: If there was to be a rematch between Courtney Love and Kathleen Hanna, who would you put your money on?
NRGS: REALLY… Courtney!
GRRRBA: How did you celebrate no-shave November?
NRGS: I don’t shave, so I should’ve shaved, but I just stayed fury as usual.
GRRRBA: What do you think the future of feminism in America is?
NRGS: I think right now it’s a thing to be into, so if it stays this way, a lot of angry teens and ladies embracing and talking about being on their periods and shit like that. A lot of men hating women, I don’t think feminism should be about hating men, I’d like to say that! There are some cool guys, and there are some really fucking terrible ladies, it goes both ways. And I wish that was acknowledged.
GRRRBA: What do you think is the future of riot grrrl?
NRGS: A not as cool reenactment of what is being done and has already been done.
GRRRBA: If you could say anything to Kathleen Hanna, what would it be?
NRGS: Be honest.
GRRRBA: Any final thoughts, you furry little weirdo?
NRGS: I DID THIS INSTEAD OF CLEANING MY ROOM AND NOW I GOTTA CLEAN MY ROOM AND ITS SO DIRTY! AND I REALLY FREAKING SOUND DUM AND SUK AT THESE THINGS! AND THNX FOR A GR8 TIME!!
To help fund Salina’s war on men, please go to her ETSY shop. It’s full of great stocking stuffers for the man-hater in all of us: etsy.com/shop/gizmoliansforestt
Today’s very special ART MONDAY is an URGENT MESSAGE that you absolutely MUST rearrange your schedule to see Laurie Lipton while she’s in town! Her new book The Drawings of Laurie Lipton, published by local heroes Last Gasp, provides the most comprehensive survey of Lipton’s work to-date with beautifully reproduced images of her incredible, large-scale graphite drawings.
Released on the tail of Lipton’s recent move back to the states after many years living in Europe, her new drawings represent a new perspective on the American cultural condition by depicting Los Angeles’ beauty, youth and car culture in a manner that is equal parts outsider/insider and rendered with dark satire in her signature BEYOND meticulous style.
She has THREE Bay Area signings this week- Don’t miss out! Click HERE for more information!
Thursday, December 12th
824 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA
6pm – 8pm
Friday, December 13th
Artist discussion & signing
2349 Shattuck Ave
7:30pm – 9:30pm
Saturday, December 14th
Exclusive Varnish print release
Varnish Fine Arts
16 Jessie St #C120
San Francisco, CA.
5 – 7pm
In honor of the SISTER SPIT 2014 FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN, I present another offering from the 1997 Sister Spit Tour Diary! This entry was written from a CYBER CAFE by one of the Valencia directors Samuael Topiary!!!
DAY 4 or 5, from topiary
Hello and hope you are well. We are now on day 4 or is it 5? Driving all night through major heat and find ourselves in Tuscon.
After nice opening shows in Santa Cruz and LA, we really hit our stride in Las Vegas, out-performing ourselves to a rowdy and diverse Vegas crowd of locals, a mix of heckling straight men and appreciative dykes and many others in between. Our most excellent and talented host Dave had hooked us up w/ free rooms at the illustrious Stardust Casino and even got us a grant from the Nevada State Council on the Arts. The free “ass juice” the bar kept doling out definitely heightened the energy. Heckling was raised to a new level. And believe it or not, we even did a second set!
I think it’s safe to report that we all had a blast in Vegas especially after Ali treated some of us to her expert slot machine techniques.
It’s fucking hot as hell here in Tucson and we’re all a bit punchy now after driving all night from Vegas to Tucson. Am writing you from the cyber cafe next to the Hotel Congress.
Hit a traffic jam in the middle of the desert on the road from Vegas to here at about 3 am. We wondered about the alien abduction possibilities, but it turns out there was a murder…. probably by human hands, though. The landscape is surreal here.
I lost $3 to the nickel slots. It’s very hot in the van. We have to drive at night and sleep by day. Wish we had more time in Tucson, it seem so interesting, picturesque.
The tour is really starting to get rolling now. I can feel us as a show gelling, getting the hang of it, getting funnier and easier and less precious with each other. The traveling is harsh, though.
In honor of the SISTER SPIT 2014 FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN we’ve dug deep into the Sister Spit archives for some must-see-gems from the vault. So today, for your #FBF viewing pleasure, I present DAY 33 of the Sister Spit Tour Diary 1997, written by Michelle Tea.
Below is it exactly as it appeared on the ’97 website:
DAY 33, michelle
Greetings from the illegal insides of the Budget Cargo Van!
I’m bouncing & rocking all over the place as the van zooms out of Cleveland and on towards Detroit. This whole part of the country – particularly the east coast (is this still the east coast?) – has been such a crazy whirlwind.
Philadelphia was a great all-ages show at the new gay center, we each got to do one piece written by someone else on the tour, something we’d been talking about doing for a while. It was pretty hysterical, the big highlights were Ali doing Sini, complete with the trademark yellow glasses; Sini doing Eileen’s ‘Merk’ in pure Sini fashion – very loud, with a couple “Fucking”s thrown in. And Eileen doing Tara aka ‘Pantena’ was completely insane, performed in some kind of weird snooty british accent, wearing a feather boa, doing Pantena’s strange yoga-ish moves on the floor. I was a little afraid our gigantic in-joke performance would bore & alienate the audience, but they really liked it.
After Phili was New York, where all the girls were split apart, staying at different houses and it felt more like a weird vacation than the tour. I saw Rod Stewert eating breakfast, he looked really bad but I still got excited seeing him. I went to see the Cindy Sherman show at MoMA, it was sponsored by Madonna, who Eileen believes should sponsor next year’s Roadshow. So if anyone knows how to get in touch with Maddy, please let me know. And did anyone read her goodbye to Versace in Time? What a fucking idiot! I’m so sorry she won’t get to stay in his villa & be pampered anymore, this must be a really hard time for her. But I still would like her to kick down some cash to our traveling all-girl literary revolution.
ANYWAY, NYC was rad, a little show at Rising Cafe in Brooklyn, and a sold-out house at P.S.122, a show Topiary & Eileen put together from the road, a very tricky thing. It was a great night. Next was Boston, another sold-out, people turned away at the door, standing-room-only show – can you deal with all these people coming out for poetry!!! It’s pretty fucking incredible.
Boston was wall-to-wall excellent girls, and there were a bunch of moms & assorted family members in attendance, including my own. It was the first time she ever heard me read, actually it was the first spoken word event, lesbian event, weirdo event, whatever event for my mom, and I think she held up pretty well & even enjoyed herself, though she was also slightly disturbed. It’s good to periodically disturb your mother, don’t you think? Ali’s mom stole the show, joining her daughter on stage to read her lines from Ali’s piece “The Story of Slutty.” She made all kinds of great exasperated mom faces while Ali read about being 15 years old smoking pot in a changing stall with a 27-year-old floosie.
Next was fantastic Provincetown, by far the hardest place for us to leave. Well, it was hard getting out of New York, but that was because Cherie took the wrong train and got lost in Queens for 2 hours. But Provincetown was fabulous! Another packed show, where we were joined by local poet Kathe Izzo, the lady responsible for the terrific event. Kim Silver & Annie Sprinkle opened their homes to us vagabonds, and Annie taught Ali a new boob trick – how to light matches off her nipples. She nearly got arrested on Commercial Street one night lighting up her tits for our entertainment. You’d think the cops in P-Town would have more of a sense of humor. A bunch of girls went whale-watching and had very spiritual experiences watching the humungous mammals flip around and wave their fins. Cherie, who used to live in P-Town, took us across the breakwater to her secret swimming hole, and we swam with the crabs & minnows, and I held a couple starfish and as you could guess that was pretty cool. We got some good illegal tattoos from Cherie’s friend Chris – tattoos are still illegal in Massachusets, and you still can’t buy booze on Sundays either. Coming into town right as we were leaving was Club Casanova – a very swanky & hilarious drag king show from New York City. We got to catch their act the night we left, Mo B. Dick, Dred, Will Doher and Labio, Fabio younger brother. Cherie & Sash hopped onstage and sang a country song as a pair of incestuous brothers recently kicked off the Garth Brooks tour for their forbidden love. Finally we tore ourselves away from Provincetown. It was very hard.
Back in the van for an overnight 15-hour drive to Buffalo, we haven’t had to haul ass like that since Texas! We were like a bunch of 7-11 hot dogs on one of those rotating hotdog warmers, all of us lined up & sleeping in the back of the Budget. In Buffalo we were welcomed into the House of Kate, who not only put most of us up in her huge & excellent house, but also kept us thoroughly entertained. Our show at Hallwalls was great and very, very bittersweet because it was the final show of the original Sister Spit line-up. Marci & Ali have since returned to their lives in San Francisco & New York, and Eileen is off writing in the woods at a writer’s colony in upstate New York. I don’t have to tell you that we miss them a lot. Marci was a really good, solid, sensitive & stable girl to have on the tour. Ali is not exactly stable, but her constant humor & sweetness even in the tensest of situations, is sorely missed. Plus, Sash has lost her drink…
(……oops!!!!…here’s where michelle ran out of batteries … we’ll get the rest of the story soon!)