New interview about feminist comics

New interview about feminist comics

I find it strange and amusing that since I stopped being an academic last summer I may well have been involved in more papers in academic journals than I was before I left. The first of these has just come out. It’s an interview that Róisín Ryan-Flood did with me for a special issue of the journal Feminist Encounters about Feminist Comics in an International Frame. Hopefully it’s a pretty accessible interview about creating feminist comics. It’s also a useful reminder to me, during this time of external and internal trauma and transformation, of what’s important to me and what I can be capable of.

I think you’ll understand why I didn’t want to say no to this opportunity. Not only is this a whole issue devoted to feminist comics, but also it takes an international perspective including comics from artist and writers in various countries across South and East Asia, Africa, Europe, and South and Central America. This introduction by editors Sally Munt and Rose Richards gives an overview of what’s included in the open access special issue and why feminist comics are important.

In my interview, Róisín asks me about how I got into creating comics and why they’re a good medium, particularly for getting across ideas about gender and sexuality. We talk about the importance of working across different mediums and genres in order to be accessible to diverse audiences. I explore why gender and sexuality have been such important themes in my work, what the main ideas are in these areas that I want to convey to readers, and why. We also get into the trans moral panic and recent gender ‘debates’ and why I think it’s vital to engage with the process of these more than the content. I got to chat about why I enjoy collaborative work so much, and why I think intersectional and non-binary thought are important in relation to gender, sexuality, and beyond.

The next article which I didn’t want say no to is a piece called ‘Plural Selves, Queer, and Comics’ coming out in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. It explores mental health and queerness in comics, particularly in relation to my comics and zines about plural selves. It develops some of the themes I explored in my talk at the Graphic Medicine conference last year. I’ll link to that here as soon as it comes out.

  • Read a summary of my talk on queer, mad comics here and the article based on it here.
  • My experience and thoughts about queer comics are here.
  • My first plural comic is here.
  • Read my interview in Feminist Encounters here and here:

Meg-John (MJ) Barker (they/them) is a writer, zine-maker, collaborator, contemplative practitioner, and friend. They are the author of a number of zines and popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including graphic guides to Queer, Gender, and Sexuality (with Jules Scheele), and How To Understand Your Gender, Sexuality and Relationships (with Alex Iantaffi).