The comics medium is obsessed with gender—perhaps because it is also a medium obsessed with bodies. Sometimes it is the bulging biceps of a hypermasculine hero that is the focus of the comics panel. Other times, it is the body, in all its messy, disruptive glory, as in the underground works of Julie Doucet (Kohlert 2012). And other times, bodies in transition are the focus. These might include real bodies, as in Julia Kaye’s autobiographical account of gender transition, Up and Out, or imaginary and metaphorical, as in countless stories of mutant superbeings. Whatever the focus, as a medium that relies on the rendering of bodies in space—and all the gendered markers and performances that such rendering requires—comics can’t help but be about gender and the bodies on which they are inscribed.

This essay may be found on page 111 of the printed volume.

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