Jun 07 2023


6:30 pm


About Busboys and Poets

ZAMI | Queer Comics and Activism

Join us for a talk about the history of queer comics from the late 1950s to the present day and create your very own comic strip!

Talk + Workshop: Queer Comics and Activism with Helis Sikk

Although comics have always been a little queer (Batman and Robin anyone?), not all superheroes wear capes. Often mistakenly dismissed as not serious and too simplistic, queer comics from artists such as Tom of Finland to Bishakh Som continue to function as acts of activism, especially during times of political conservatism. In fact, one of the most banned books in the United States is currently Gender Queer, a graphic memoir by Maia Kobabe. This talk will cover the history of queer comics from the late 1950s to the present day and discuss the importance of the medium to queer culture. You will also have an opportunity to create your very own comic strip by the end of the talk.

Helis Sikk is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at Brown University. She earned her Ph.D. at The College of William & Mary in American Studies. Her research takes a feral multidisciplinary approach in exploring the relationships between queerness, affect, and visual culture.

Free and Open To All

Recommended Books

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe

Apsara Engine by Bishakh Som

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel

No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics by Justin Hall

Tom of Finland: The Complete Kake Comics by Dian Hanson

This monthly gender and sexuality series seeks to energize community discourse regarding the intersections of sexuality, gender, race and human rights by bringing together artists, scholars, and community members to talk about their work as people committed to LGBTQ and feminist values and action Zami: A Circle of LGBTQ Cultural Performances & Conversations at Busboys and Poets is named after the biomythography of AUDRELORDE, and seeks to honor her legacy as a fearless lesbian poet, author and educator. ZAMI takes place at various Busboys and Poets locations.


450 K St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001