Sunday, 24 January 2010

372: Trina Robbins - I Was a Fag Hag

"I was a Fag Hag" by Trina Robbins
in "Manhunt Comix" #2 1974

The romance comics were another subgenre of the commercial comics scene often plumbed for satire and parody by the underground comix.
The woman falling for a friend who turns out to be gay was pretty much the de facto plot used by sitcoms for temporarily injecting a homosexual character into a one-off special episode. But it’s a satirical plotline you’d never had before in early romance comics.
Unlike almost all every other of the comix I’ve covered here, this one does actually pay attention to and incorporate various signifiers of modern gay life: Holly Woodlawn, Bette Middler, the Ccockettes. Partly this may derive from the fact that Trina Robbins was a feminist, and alert to the idea that liberation means a little more than just being sexually available for the next man who comes along. Looking back to the late 60s and very early 70s, it does show that emergent gays were hippies, not some separate breed apart, and also demonstrates camp is actually a kind of social behaviour. Slight bitchiness to women can be interpreted as the fact that your beloved doesn’t actually really need you in his gay world. Yet, even in one panel there does have to be an ostentatiously limp wrist. And yes, it’s America, so it’s almost the bloody law that there has to be a homosexual called Bruce. No cocks in sight, unlike her male comix counterparts, but some enthusiastic blowjob noises as compensation.

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