Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Slash and Burning Passion

Comic professional Steven Grant wrote about a subgenre of superhero comics that I was completely unaware of in his most recent column Permanent Damage at Comicbook Resources. Steven details this small comic niche:

"Obviously, there's still ground to be covered with the superhero, and the post-superhero. There are different things yet to do with them. There are even weird, unexpected subcultures out there built around superheroes: a friend yesterday told me about "slash," which has apparently been an open secret for a long time but somehow I just missed it, basically self-generated fiction by and for educated, mostly straight, often married middle-class women, featuring homoerotic (male-male) revisions of popular characters of TV, screen and comics, like the old Kirk-Spock fantasies once prevalent among an offshoot of STAR TREK fans. (Female "slash" fans are reportedly a hefty chunk of the fans of DC's TEEN TITANS and OUTSIDERS comics.) Which ties in beautifully with the Apollo-Midnighter romance in THE AUTHORITY and shonen ai manga like GRAVITATION. Slash fans have their own conventions, websites and everything. " (Note: THE AUTHORITY features two openly gay men, essentially a Superman and Batman riff in a relationship.)

This ties in with the apparent love that some straight women have for the show Queer as Folk which features soft-core gay sex. This is an interesting flipside of the straight man's stereotypical fascination with lesbian sex. I'm honestly a bit baffled about this, other than to say that if you're attracted to good looking people of one sex, then you're likely to be attracted to a whole gaggle of them making out?? And although I doubt that this "slash" population is of any significant size, with straight America's continued fascination with same-sex sex, why can't they move from objectifying us to seeing us as people deserving of equal rights?

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