Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Documentary: No Straight Lines (2023) directed by VIVIAN KLEIMAN


This documentary follows the start of comics made by openly gay artists to present day. I hadn't heard about it until I was told an old friend, Jennifer Camper, was in it. I also worked in a comic book store fin the 80s so I was familiar with the other artists the history they were telling. 

Kleiman does a good job with her interviews and where they go. She lets them slip away from being a strict history of gay comics to , smartly, keeping a lot of conversation about what else was going on at the time to put it all in context. There are a lot of women artists involved as well which was a pleasant surprise as I knew of more lesbian arts than gay ones in the field a the time and it was nice to see them represented  in force. I had to take a break about ⅔ through and was surprised there was no mention of Eric Orner (another old friend), his Ethan Green comic nor his graphic novel about politician Barney Frank. Seemed really good fit but who knows what got in the way. As a filmmaker myself, I realize you can't talk to everyone and some people just won't talk to you in the time you need them too. Near the very end, however,  I saw a piece of artwork that showed his characters (including Boston's the Hat Sisters) so he was represented just not highlighted. 

This is a good modern look back at the early innovators that brought gay subject matter into the comic book world.


T' said...

I ended up watching this because of your recommendation then recommended it to someone else. It is really cool. There's a few names I recognized and a good deal I didn't, because they're closer to today. A well done and needed documentary.

Behemoth media said...

Jennifer AIDS story was a little tough. I knew her and her friend who died. She never talked about it much around me so it was something I wasn't;t prepared for.