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No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics Hardcover – August 6, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Justin Hall is an award-winning cartoonist and sits on the board of Prism Comics, a non-profit supporting LGBT comics. He teaches comics at the California College of Art.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (August 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995068
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.3 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,853,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I could not put down Justin Hall's collection of LGBTQ comics until I had read it cover to cover. As someone who is somewhat familiar with the queer comics scene, but not an expert by any means (i.e., I keep up with a few writers/artists from the 80s-present), it was enlightening to read a collection of comics made by a diverse list of creators that was organized chronologically by era (moving from comics you had to order out of the back of a magazine or buy from a specialty bookstore to national recognition and the instant access available with webcomics) and hit upon major themes/issues within the LGBTQ communities (coming out, the AIDS epidemic, gender reassignment surgery, etc.) while also mixing in a lot of slice of life comics. Overall, it is a very well-rounded, balanced collection and I am already recommending it to all of my friends as well as my library. :)
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Format: Hardcover
I'm in this book, so yes, I am biased, but hear me out anyway.

In 1989 Robert Triptow published Gay Comics, a trade paperback with New American Library that featured Triptow along with Tim Barela, Alison Bechdel, Jennifer Camper, Howard Cruse, Gerard Donelan, Kurt Erichsen, Roberta Gregory, Jeffrey Krell, and all the other major LGBT cartoonists from the underground comic book series Gay Comix as well as the gay and lesbian newsweeklies of the day, etc. Gay Comics was an excellent book, one I'd read and reread many times. It also won the Lambda Literary Award for Humor. But let's face facts, as the book had been published over 20 years ago and was long out of print, and as the queer comics scene had grown and changed by leaps and bounds since, an update was badly needed. Obviously one of our own had to step up to the plate to accomplish this and that someone turned out to be the estimable Justin Hall, a fine cartoonist in his own right as well as a teacher of the art of cartooning at the California College of the Arts. Hall grew concerned that much of this older work especially was in danger of being lost to the ravages of time unless it were archived; he also wanted to highlight the panoply of truly world-class queer cartoonists who've been in our midst all along, many of whom to this day do not get the recognition they deserve. In his introduction he states his 3 main criteria for selecting work, in descending order of importance: artistic merit, historical import, and representational.
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By K. Clarke on October 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's the American competition publication to Markus Pfalzgraf's STRIPPED: A STORY OF GAY COMICS (2012) which is a much 'heavier' book with a lot more text in it - and very different comic authors. Still, I found Justin Hall's NO STRAIGHT LINES in its paper back version the more elegant book, visually. And, truth be told, I really enjoyed reading his intro, short and compact as it is. It basically only deals with the comic scene in San Francisco, at least that was my impression, whereas Pfalzgraf has a much more international approach. But as a book on a specific place and time, Hall's collection is more touching, feels more "united". That said: I didn't get a feeling that these comics come from "Four Decades of Queen Comics", as the subtitle promises. They all look timeless, in a good and in a bad sense. There is more of a time-travel feeling to Pfalzgraf's selection, and there is a lot more explicit sex happening there too. But because they are so very, very different, it's good to have both books. As both are highly enjoyable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first saw this collection I was ecstatic because I love comics and am a lesbian so I have a general interest in things that are LGBTQ. I ordered this collection instantly and couldn't wait to read it. I really enjoyed the passage of time and subjects that occurs throughout the collection. The subjects written about vary and all have something unique about them.

The main issue I had was that there is a large majority of comics that feature gay men and there are only a handful of lesbians or trans characters. I believe that this collection is more suited for gay men than any other member of the community and this disappoints me since it is marketed as a queer collection.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The art, the writinng and the fun! From laughing out loud, to the irony of real life, this is truely a wonderful slice of gay life. It is a must read for all cartoonists and artests. But more that that, it is a fun romp for everybody! hightly reccomended. Would really like to see some of the older stuff from the 40's,50's and 60's dianefromcarroll@yahoo.com
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good compilation of various queer comics. Some of the art is a bit weird, and since many comics run in long series, it's hard to figure out some of the stories, but this is still a fun volume to have in a collection.
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Format: Hardcover
OK, well, It's a bit icky if I write a review of this work myself since I'm in it, but damn, this is book is hugely important to LGBT culture. Justin Hall did a really good thing, especially for our elder comics creators who are not internet savvy, and documented many creators who would otherwise be lost and forgotten. It's well done. It's important. It's a really good read. If you own it please take the time to write a few lines of praise and give it some stars baby.
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