From TOM OF FINLAND to DYKES TO WATCH OUT FOR, comics and zines have been firmly embedded in queer culture since before Stonewall, through the AIDS epidemic, and continuing through today’s modern obsession with superheroes. But this deeply queer artform finally gets its true moment in the limelight thanks to Peabody Award winner Vivian Kleiman’s extensive documentary that explores over 70 years of history.
Featuring interviews with trailblazers like Howard Cruse, Mary Wings, Rupert Kinnard, and Alison Bechdel, NO STRAIGHT LINES explores how the once underground world of queer comics grew to encompass the many mediums, styles, and inspirations that make this artform what it is today. Even the most dedicated queer comic lover will be delighted to delve into the personal histories and inspirations behind Kinnard’s BROWN BOMBER, the first serialized queer Black character in comics, among others. This crisp film is rounded out with historical deep-dives and intimate interviews with young up-and-coming artists inspired by the vanguard and already influencing the next generation.
— J. Swemba