The 1970s

  • The COMICS CODE AUTHORITY revises its standards in 1971, but does not change its attitude towards portrayals of GLBT characters. The CCA does not, however, control the emerging small-press comics companies, which are not members.
  • WIMMEN’S COMIX #1 (Last Gasp, 1972) contains the first comic story featuring a lesbian character, “SANDY COMES OUT” by Trina Robbins.
  • Rand Holmes’ character HAROLD HEDD performs oral sex on a man in ALL CANADIAN BEAVER COMIX (Georgia Straight, 1973).
  • Mary Wings produces the first all-lesbian themed comic book, COME OUT COMIX (Portland Women’s Resource Center, March 1974). She follows it with her self-published DYKE SHORTS (1978).
  • In Lee Marrs’ FURTHER FATTENING ADVENTURES OF PUDGE, GIRL BLIMP #2 (Star*Reach, April 1975) PUDGE has her first lesbian encounter.
  • Sam Glanzman does a surprisingly sympathetic story called “TORO“, about a seaman who may be from faerie, or may simply be a fairy, in the “U.S.S. Stevens” story appearing in OUR FIGHTING FORCES #148 (DC, April-May 1974).
  • Garry Trudeau introduces the first continuing, sympathetic gay character in Doonesbury, ANDY LIPPINCOTT, to daily comic strips (February 1976). Andy later dies of AIDS.
  • Barefootz’s artist pal HEADRACK comes out as gay, becoming the first continuing LGBT character in comic books, in Howard Cruse’s BAREFOOTZ FUNNIES #2 (Kitchen Sink, April 1976).
  • GAY HEART THROBS #1 (Fulhorne Productions, 1976), the first all-gay-male comic, is released, followed by #2 (from Larry Fuller Presents, 1979) and #3 (Inkwell, 1981).
  • Roberta Gregory self-publishes the lesbian-themed DYNAMITE DAMSELS (1976).
  • In STAR*REACH #11 (Star*Reach, December 1977), Lee Marrs contributes a “STARK’S QUEST” story featuring a bi/lesbian heroine.
  • Gerard Donelan’s first cartoon appears in The Advocate (1977), for which he soon begins “IT’S A GAY LIFE.” His work from The Advocate is later collected in two volumes (Liberation, 1987 & 1988).
  • Rupert Kinnard’s “CATHARTIC COMICS,” featuring the first African-American gay men in comic strips, begins to run in Cornell College’s student newspaper (1977) and is later collected in B.B. and the Diva (Alyson, 1992).
  • AND GOD BLESS UNCLE HARRY AND HIS ROOMMATE JACK, WHO WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO TALK ABOUT (Avon, May 1978) a collection of cartoons from gay magazine Christopher Street advertised as “The World’s First Gay Cartoon Book!” is published. A second collection, LE GAY GHETTO: GAY CARTOONS FROM CHRISTOPHER STREET follows (St. Martin’s, September 1980).
  • THE IN TOUCH FOR MEN CARTOON BOOK OF GAY HUMOR (1978), edited by Krohn, collects gay-themed humor cartoons from In Touch For Men magazine.
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