When I first encountered drag queens I immediately thought of them as super heroes. Statuesque, larger than life, colorfully dressed for battle of one kind or another. I wanted a way to fit in the queer culture of San Francisco in the early 1990s, to contribute my talents to the cause. I was not inspired to lip-synch or do Judy Garland numbers. I wanted to draw!
I started drawing drag and gender bending superheroes and rediscovered my love for illustration along the way. Working on this book inspired my return to art school where I completed a degree in illustration and went on to a decent career as an artist in the animation industry.
I had been a wanna-be comic book artist my whole life and had spent my teen years steeped in 80s X-Men comics and their epic battle as an oppressed minority in a world that hates mutants.
I had a great deal of anxiety about joining the queer movement and I poured that anxiety into a comic book about a dystopian future world where a team of drag queens and transsexuals in a queer ghetto fought against a homophobic totalitarian system. It was occasionally fun, energetically drawn, very wordy, violently dramatic and politically paranoid. I loved the characters and am amazed to this day by the amount of time and energy I put into the 3 issues I completed before abandoning the project to focus on school and the struggles of my life. I feel like I let my characters down, I wanted to do so much more with them.
Homozone 5 became a guarded secret along with the rest of my past, probably less from shame about sexuality and gender identity than shame over the artwork and writing “not being good enough” for the horrible critic that lives in my head.
The first issue is online at Homozone5.com, here are a few sample pages….