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Year in Review

The 10 Queerest Moments in Comics of 2014

The 10 Queerest Moments in Comics of 2014

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From dating mutants to Alan Turing's life story, here are the moments that made us sit up and take notice in the local comic book shop.

Archie-comic-deathx633_0Archie Takes a Bullet for Kevin
Well, that's grim. In an alternate universe storyline, Archie gets gunned down while saving his gay friend Kevin Keller. After serving in the military, Kevin became a senator and pushed for gun control after his husband was involved in a shooting.

Bandwx633_0Alan Turing Graphic Novel Funded
Artist Elizabeth Fernandez took to Kickstarter to fund a comic book about the life and times of gay hero and codebreaker Alan Turing, and she exceeded her goals in November. Stretch goals include a bonus minicomic about Ada Lovelace and a nice World War II bookplate. Keep an eye out for the Lovelace book in 2015 and the finished Turing book at the end of the year.

Fh1_42_0Complete Collection of Fearful Hunter
Gay comic creator John Macy came up iwth Fearful Hunter in response to Proposition 8, and he's been releasing the series in chapters for the last few years. The story focuses on a love affair between a werewolf and a druid in a fantasy world that intersects our own, and it's super-sexy and super-smart. This year Macy released a deluxe hardcover and digital edition and a paperback edition with the entire collected story and some bonus tales from other queer and queer-adjacent creators.

Ifthisbesinx633_0Publication of If This Be Sin
Hazel Newlevant's book If This Be Sin traces the stories of various queer female musicians throughout history. Universal acclaim, lovely art, and crucial details about our shared history makes this book a must-have.

American_girl_and_skunkx633_0The Staging of Astonishing Adventures
This fall saw the staging of Charles Battersby's strange superhero play, Astonishing Adventures of All American Girl & the Scarlet Skunk. The play touches on moral panic and trans issues, told through the lens of '40s radio shows and superhero comics. Excerpts are performed at comic conventions around the country, so keep an eye out for it in 2015.

Batgirlx633_0The Batgirl/Dagger Type Trans Panic
DC managed to ruffle some feathers this year with a character named Dagger Type in Batgirl #37. Initially, Dagger Type seemed like an irritating male hipster artist, but later it's revealed that the character has been masquerading as Batgirl, dressing up as the female heroine and presenting as female. Does that make Dagger Type trans? It's hard to say exactly how he or she identifies. But some readers were miffed that Batgirl is shocked by he reveal, exclaiming "but you're a --" before dodging a bullet. Obviously with that line she was about to gender Dagger Type -- is that an act of transphobia? A statement of fact? Both? The character certainly seems like the tired old trope of the "killer tranny" that's been boring and stale (not to mention offensive) for decades, but it's hard to say exactly what the writing team was going for. Complicating things: Batgirl has a trans roommate who is depicted with loving sensitivity. Whatever the authors intended, they later apologized and promised to do better.

James Tynion IV Comes Out
Early in 2014, comic writer James Tynion IV wrote in a short blog posts that he's bisexual. Not only is it awesome that he feels comfortable coming out, but it's delightful that he's gone on to write some pretty great stories this year. He's living proof that being openly queer is good for your career.

Amazing-x-men-13x633_0Anole and Noam Get Flirty
Our heart skipped a beat when we saw two mutant boys batting eyelashes in Amazing X-Men #13. At first, Anole is too self-conscious about his appearance (he's green and scaly) to meet his crush. But then he builds up some confidence and blurts out the insanely adorable line "you're cute. Want to date me a little bit maybe?" And awwww. The issue was written by James Tynion IV, which is why it's so important that the comics industry have openly queer authors.

Qu33r-coverx633_0QU33R Wins Outstanding Anthology at Small Press Expo
Thirty-three contributors poured stories into the breathtaking anthology QU33R, which took home the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Anthology at the Small Press Expo this year. It's an amazing collection that spans some wildly different styles, eras, and issues. There's something in here for everyone -- in fact, there's lots in here for everyone.

Korra-and-asami02x633_0We Can't Wait for Korra and Asami Comic Books
In the final episode of The Legend of Korra, heroines Korra and Asami made it pretty clear that they'd fallen in love. And while Nickelodeon might have booted the series from the airwaves, making it only available online with virtually no advance publicity (boo!), it was the hand-hold heard round the world. The show's over, but that doesn't mean we won't see comic books about their ongoing adventures in the spirit realm. And if Nickelodeon won't publish comics, well, we'll just have to settle for the plentiful fan-authored stories.

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Matt Baume