Saturday, April 27, 2019

(227) Murphy's Manor - Drag Tourists

When I came out and moved to Toledo,  it was an ongoing joke whether you/your worldly goods were butch or femme. Some gay people had an expectation that a gay man should do drag sometime or other  -- Hallowe'en  if nothing else (I never did).  It was simply part of the culture.

The Sparkle Spinsters -- L2R Duchess, Lee, and Vernon -- cling to this tradition  -- even as they realize that gay visibility has grown to the point of attracting gay Ghetto  tourism.

The role of gender dressing has  changed greatly. In the 80s my understanding of cross dressing included cultural drag, as The Sparkle Spinsters are doing, and drag shows; transvestite, where dressing was part of a sexual experience; or transsexual, a person headed for a "sex change operation." 

This omits today's view of transgender/gender identity, which is different and more complex. Let's just say that being the 1980s, the Spinsters are doing drag as a put-on of the stereotype. Okay, drag does have more meaning to Vernon than he lets on ..... we still have another 1000 strips before Vernon recognizes it.

It's a lot to cover in a 4-panel comic strip!

Monday, April 15, 2019

(226) Murphy's Manor -- Hallowe'en Demons

Editors of local gay newspapers  -- especially bar guides  -- liked it when I gave them comic strips to celebrate holidays. Helps get the magazine in the holiday spirit. The bars,  advertising customers of the bar guides, liked it too, because they often held theme parties.

Hallowe'en was a special favorite gay holiday-- because it's so focused on parties and fancy dress. And because most Americans don't regard it as a religious holiday. I found an angle -r- by casting Jerry Falwell as a demon.

The downside for the cartoonist was the deadline. Date: October. Some of these bar guides were monthly, so the press deadline would be around September 1. That requires me to draw it in August!! I found these deadlines hard to remember -- who's got  Hallowe'en spirit in August?

The other holidays that sometimes inspired comic strip ideas were Christmas/New Year's  (of course) and Pride (late June, commemorating the Stonewall Riot.

I don't have to explain who Jerry Falwell was, do I?