Making Lesbians Visible: Recovering the Social History of the 1990s Lesbian Comics Boom
Friday, September 9, 2022
Special lecture by Margaret Galvan, RBS-Mellon SoFCB Fellow, and Assistant Professor of Visual Rhetoric, Department of English, University of Florida
> Watch the recording online (created by Ringling College's Art Network)
> Link to Margaret Galvan's resource guide to Queer Comics
In the early 1990s, lesbian and bisexual women cartoonists were befriending each other and supporting each other’s professional endeavors, facilitating an unprecedented boom in lesbian comics publishing. Cartoonist Andrea Natalie founded the Lesbian Cartoonists' Network (LCN) in 1990 and started publishing a quarterly newsletter that circulated among an international network of women. The newsletter allowed the women varied ways to connect, which they carried over into their comics-heavy zines where they wrote each other fan letters, spoofed each other's characters, and lovingly reviewed each other's comics. Due to the grassroots, small press nature of these publishing venues, many of these comics are inaccessible today and the women’s important contributions to documenting changing social mores around sexuality and simultaneously celebrating and critiquing lesbian culture has been forgotten. Through archival research in grassroots archives, this talk recovers the social history of this fervent community building.
Margaret Galvan is Assistant Professor of Visual Rhetoric in the Department of English at the University of Florida. Her archivally-informed research examines how visual culture operates within feminist and queer social movements and includes a forthcoming first book, In Visible Archives (University of Minnesota Press). In 2021-2022, she was in residence at the Stanford Humanities Center as the Distinguished Junior External Fellow researching a second book about how communities of LGBTQ cartoonists innovated comics through grassroots formats. Her publications on comics in social movements can be found in journals like American Literature, Archive Journal, Australian Feminist Studies, iNKS, Journal of Lesbian Studies, and WSQ.
Organized by Janelle Rebel, RBS-Mellon SoFCB Fellow. Co-sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School and the Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center and Alfred R. Goldstein Library at Ringling College of Art and Design. The event took place in the Orkin Lecture Hall, 113, in the Alfred R. Goldstein Library.