A lively look at five LGBTQ+ comic book artists whose careers go from the underground scene to the cover of Time Magazine and the international stage. In this adaption of Justin Hall’s anthology of the same name, No Straight Lines invites Alison Bechdel (Fun Home), Jennifer Camper (Rude Girls and Dangerous Women), Howard Cruse (Gay Comix), Rupert Kinnard (B.B. And The Diva) and Mary Wings (Come Out Comix) to share their stories and observations on everything from the AIDS crisis and workplace discrimination, to the search for love and a good haircut.
Showcasing the evolution of the comic book, side by side with the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, Vivian Kleiman’s engaging documentary pays close attention to how the changing times influenced the work. This mash-up of art, comedy and politics is sure to make you laugh, but will also make you think - about the milestones of queer representation and the challenges that the community has encountered and overcome along the way. It’s a warm-hearted tribute to all the artists among us, those who paint the world so that we can better understand it. —Lucy Mukerjee
Vivian Kleiman is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker whose work is noted for its cultural and stylistic diversity. A longtime collaborator with Black gay filmmaker Marlon Riggs, her credits include his landmark documentary Tongues Untied and her Emmy®-nominated work with Riggs on Color Adjustment. An educator, Kleiman taught at Stanford University’s Graduate Program in Documentary Film & Video Production.
Justin Hall is the Producer of No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics, a documentary film inspired by his Lambda-winning and Eisner-nominated book No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics. Hall is the first Fulbright Scholar of Comics, an Associate Professor of Comics at California College of the Arts, a museum curator of comics art, and the Co-Organizer of the Queers & Comics Conference. He’s also an acclaimed cartoonist and the creator of True Travel Tales, Hard to Swallow, and Theater of Terror: Revenge of the Queers, with work in The Best American Comics and Best Erotic Comics.
Vivian Kleiman is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker whose work is noted for its cultural and stylistic diversity. A longtime collaborator with Black gay filmmaker Marlon Riggs, her credits include his landmark documentary “Tongues Untied.” Kleiman was nominated for a National Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for her work with Riggs on “Color Adjustment.” Selected Executive Producer credits include: Academy Award-nominated short “Last Day of Freedom,” “First Person Plural,” and “Maquilapolis.” Story Editor credits include "Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics & Men" (Sascha Jenkins for Showtime). An educator, Kleiman taught at Stanford University’s Graduate Program in Documentary Film & Video Production.
Rupert Kinnard created the Brown Bomber in 1976. In 1977, an editorial comic strip featuring B.B. debuted in Cornell College's student newspaper and ran weekly for two years. The Brown Bomber debuted in the Portland OR queer publication, Just Out and Diva Touché Flambé joined the comic, Cathartic Comics in 1984. In 1995 the strip was featured in Out in All Directions: The Almanac of Gay and Lesbian America where it states, “The Brown Bomber came out in 1979 and the lesbian character Diva Touché Flambé followed in 1984, making them the oldest continuing African American gay and lesbian characters.”
Alison Bechdel is a cartoonist. Her work includes the long-running comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For” as well as the graphic memoirs “Fun Home” and “Are You My Mother?” The stage-musical adaptation of “Fun Home” received five Tony Awards in 2015, including the award for Best Musical. Bechdel is the recipient of an Eisner Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Her most recent book is The Secret to Superhuman Strength.
Cartoonist Jennifer Camper’s books include “Rude Girls and Dangerous Women” and “subGURLZ”, and she edited two “Juicy Mother” comics anthologies. Her work appears in numerous publications and has been exhibited internationally. She’s the founding director of the Queers & Comics Conference.