Anna Oleszczuk - Of Pride and Spaceships: Queer Identities in Speculative Comics
Despite the fact that various theoretical frameworks have been applied to comics and there is a significant volume of critical conversation about diverse aspects and readings of comics, queer theory has not been used much to analyse comics at large, with the exception of extensive coverage of Alison Bechdel’s work, and almost not at all to analyse speculative comics. This paper addresses this research gap.It starts by establishing the key theoretical concepts related to the umbrella category of speculative fiction and the medium of comics as well as queerness and queer identities. Then, it uses examples from comics history to illustrate and contextualize diverse visions of queerness in speculative comics focusing especially on these which challenge the patterns of male domination and go beyond the traditional view of gender roles. This allows for the development of features that can be considered as distinctive of queerness and thus, enabling to trace the borders of the non(hetero)normative discourse. The final section examines the performance of queerness and (de)constructions of queer identity in texts by H-P Lehkonen and Ari North, taking into consideration the storyline, world-building, and formal aspects of the style.