My comic shop knows I’m Queer

My local comic shop knows I’m queer1I am going to use the word queer. It is the word used in academia (see queer studies or queer history). It is the word to use to identify myself. I ...continue.

For a few years now I have had a pull list at my local comic shop. They put certain comics in a box behind the counter and I show up on pay day to buy a months worth of comics. A great service for forgetful people like me.

I was reading up on the hot new European data protection law today. General Data Protection Regulation3 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32016R0679 comes into effect may 2018. There will be some real juicy law suits against ...continue or GDPR will be big. Exiting stuff if you are paranoid like me. It reminded me that the order list at the comic shop could be considered sensitive data under current UK data protection law2 https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/key-definitions/.

Sensitive data includes: racial/ethnic origin, political or religious opinions, physical or mental health details, sexuality, trade union membership. There is nothing on the comic ordering system that says I’m queer but there is a list of the things I buy. Queer things.

Four panels from a comic. Batgirl is asking Harley Quinn is she and Ivy are well friends like y'know friends.

You can’t tell from my purchase history that I’m white and not in a trade union but you can guess a few other “sensitive” things. A big data crunching company would have flagged me as suspect.

Lets look at my current pull list:

  • Constantine the Hellblazer
  • Bitch Planet
  • Scooby Doo Apocalypse
  • Sunbakery
  • Poe Dameron
  • Snotgirl

Some information

Nothing too telling. This reader must like Sci-Fi and is probably female going by a book about a social media fashion icon4 I took a small gamble on snotgirl. It’s writen by Bryan Lee O’Malley of Scott Pilgrim and Seconds. I liked both of those so I picked up ...continue (Snotgirl) and the capital F Feminist dystopia anthology5 I once saw Kelly Sue DeConnick referred to as a “part-time comic writer.” I don’t actually mind the delays on the main story because I am ...continue (Bitch Planet). Bitch Planet is very political. It even has essays on feminism next to the letters page. Might label me as a feminist6 For all the issues with internet feminism and white feminism I do call myself feminist. I need to do more reading. Intersectional feminism (or as I ...continue, though that’s not ‘sensative’.

Side by side images of a snotgirl cover and a bitch planet cover. Snotgirl issue one shows a soft pastel drawing of a thin white woman in a bikini and pink fluffy shawl. She has snot green hair and uncoloured hand do her hair and make up. The bitch planet cover is a pulpy rasterised poster in reds, yellow, and blue showing a shackled female arm giving the finger to the moon. It asks “are you woman enough to survive”

If you take into account comics that used to be on my list and graphic novels I have ordered in… the picture becomes clearer.

Regarding physical or mental health: I have ordered a few of Simon Hanselmann’s Megg, Mogg and Owl books. These books detail the lives of some very unhappy people/animals. Themes of mental health issues, drugs, poverty, gender, and sexuality. I’ve heard quite a few people who have moved on from that lifestyle call it too real. For a middle-class and drug free idiot like myself its not an obvious choice. Might point towards my actual diagnoses.

A green skinned witch lies in a futon bed. Out of the walls of her room grow three faces, black liquid pouring from their mouths slowly fills the room. Megg is awake but does nothing. The image is black ink pen with muted watercolour colours.

The Gay

I’ve bought a fair few comics written by openly bisexual Steve Orlando. Midnighter, followed by Midnighter and Apollo. It features the relationship difficulties between knock-off Batman and knock-off Superman who used to be married in different continuity. Obviously there is more to it than that7 It is a joy to see a gay character be both very gay in a good way and get to play the sadist anti-hero without being a boring old stereotype.The art ...continue but the point here is it’s queer. I also picked up a few old issues of the Midnighter but that wont be on file.

Two men kiss. One with long white hair and a gold and white skin tight hero-ing suit the other coated in black leather. They stand on the viewing deck of a space ship in earth orbit. Behind them is earth and the stars. It's not from Orlandos run but the first midnighter solo comic.

Orlando also wrote Virgil. A “queersplotation” graphic novel about a closeted Jamaican police officer being violently outed and violently taking revenge.

Panel from Virgil showing the title character, a black man in his thirties, walking away from the silhouette of his friend, a sad tired look on his face. The art uses bold lack lines and block colour colouring.

Bitch Planet also hints at queerness. The Star Wars mini series with Captain Phasma feels sapphic to me for no good reason. The bad reason is I both fancy and want to be Gwendoline Christie.

Image shows Gwendoline Christie, the tall woman with chin length blonde hair, as Brinne of Tarth. She wears a suit of golden armour and holds her sword ready to strike someone off screen.

Constantine the Hellblazer was made for me. Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV wrote a damn fun spooky mystery with John also being romantically involved with another man. It ended poorly but better than many of John’s relationships. Also there was an alt cover I want desperately where you can see our hero’s erection outline8 This image used to be my phone lock screen for almost a year. http://www.comicosity.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/hellblazer1_doyle-copy-2.png I ...continue.

Panel from Constantine the hellblazer where there is a welcome to night vale reference. An email preview is shown from a Cecil B. John is shouting at tall hooded figures not to eat dogs. Do not go into the dog park. Do not look at the dog park.

The sequential art of Amanda Conner. Errrrrrrrrrr9 Errrrrrr

Cover of the sequential art of Amanda Conner. It shows and drawing of the super hero power girl pulling on her glove and smirking at the viewer. Her costume is white with a gold rope holding on her cape. Also the boob window. There is a hole in the costume to show the cleavage of her massive breasts.

What was I talking about?

Panel with superheroes blue beetle and booster gold shouting in union were not gay.

I care more than the average person about my data. I’ve written to the Irish data commissioner about Facebook not complying with data access regulation10 Under current EU law you can request a company give you a copy of the data they have on you. Facebook do not provide me with the mountain of cookie ...continue. I’m not going to go in the comic shop and ask if their spreadsheet is encrypted or who their data controller is. I’m lucky. I won’t lose my job or be executed if the government knows I have copies of Batwoman.

This was supposed to be a fun exercise. Fun that reminds me that big data is here to stay. And with that, here is a list

Companies that must know I’m queer or sick:

  • Any search engine
  • Any social media
  • Any one of those big advertisers that follow you across websites
  • Amazon
  • Etsy
  • AO311 There was quite a big survey of archive of our own users that showed that more users identified as not-straight than straight. But that was a survey ...continue
  • Those sites I used to read manga on12 I wonder how many of those yaoi reading tweens accused of fetishising gay men turned out to be women who like women? I actually want to know. I ...continue
  • Every organisation that sends crawlers onto this page

Notes Void   [ + ]

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