• Fatal Attractions: American Comic Books and the AIDS Crisis

    Author(s):
    Sean Guynes (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Group(s):
    GS Comics and Graphic Narratives
    Subject(s):
    American history, American literature, Art history, Cultural studies, English language
    Item Type:
    Thesis
    Institution:
    University of Massachusetts Boston
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M64S3F
    Abstract:
    Prepared in partial completion for the Master's degree in American Studies at UMass Boston. Abstract: Between 1988 and 1994 American comic books engaged the politics, problematics, and crises of the AIDS epidemic by injecting the virus and its social, cultural, and epidemiological effects on gay men into the four-color fantasies of the superhero genre. As the comic-book industry was undergoing major internal changes that allowed for more mature, adult storylines, creators challenged the Comics Code Authority’s 1954 sanction against the representation of homosexuality to create, for the first time, openly gay characters. Creators’ efforts were driven by a desire to recognize the reality of gay men’s lived experiences, especially crucial in the epidemic time of the AIDS crisis. Through mainstream superhero comic books a small body of conscientious writers and artists confronted stereotypes and misinformation about HIV/AIDS, championed gay men’s rights, and fought homophobia. Comic-book creators developed a complex, sustained, and lively conversation about HIV/AIDS, gay men, and PWAs that was unprecedented both in the history of comic books and of other forms of popular culture.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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