Monday, 9 July 2012

436: Art Spiegelman - New Yorker Gay Pride

Art Spiegelman
New Yorker, 28 June 1993

In similar vein to Jules Feiffer’s treatment of gays in the military overlapping stereotypes about gay men being transvestites, here’s a cover by Art Spiegelman for “The New Yorker”. This coverof a transvestite shaving in a mirror is contemporary , not merely because of the debate over gays in the military as signified by the poster reading in reverse “I Didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier”, but because it also ties in with New York City’s gay pride celebrations the week of publication. A daring image then for a sometimes stuffy, hidebound magazine revived by the recent injection of talent by brash new editor Tina Brown. Although an image of a rough looking drag queen for Gay Pride is not exactly ideally flattering as a means of demonstrating a new inclusivity of subject matter. But then Spiegelman’s other cartoons about homosexuality show a certain tension between trying to be socially sympathetic and his graphic tendency to draw upon and reinvigorate old clichés.

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