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June 18, 2002
3:19 PM   Subscribe

So Queer as Folk now has a comic book attached to it, sort of. It's called Rage. It's set in Gayopolis. Gag me with a set of pride rings. I think it's time to ask this question again.
As much as I despise the show, I'm curious where they go with this.
posted by Su (31 comments total)

 
Hello, what is this? "Sorry. We at Showtime Online express our apologies; however, these pages are intended for access only from within the United States."
So much for the world wide web.
posted by nprigoda at 3:40 PM on June 18, 2002


Just beat me to it. I've *never* seen this before....
posted by jonpollard at 3:41 PM on June 18, 2002


The Ambiguously Gay Duo is back... and they're very pissed off. Very corny.
posted by Xkot at 3:44 PM on June 18, 2002


Yeah! You furriners can suck it! USA! USA! USA!

[/fake jingoism]

Truthfully, you're not missing much. The comic is awful, artless, and obvious, containing such jewels as "The bashers treat themselves to the death they deserve."
posted by Skot at 3:49 PM on June 18, 2002


The comic is awful, artless, and obvious

Well, clearly consistency across the brand is important to Showtime.
posted by bradlands at 4:01 PM on June 18, 2002


Bah! QaF and the entire fan cult mentality that has surrounded it is beyond me.

For some real gay comics with some depth and humanity, spend some time with Leonard and Larry.
posted by TuffAustin at 4:04 PM on June 18, 2002


Dont forget Dykes to Watch Out For--dykestowatchoutfor.net
posted by jokeefe at 4:07 PM on June 18, 2002


Hmm....well I guess I'm alone in this, but I happen to enjoy QAF very much. True, it's not the greatest show *ever*, but it doesn't pretend to be. It's pretty much just a soap opera. I don't care either way about the comic, Rage, except insofar as it applies to the storylines on the show.

Season two just finished up and I think it was a great year. I *like* the people that I've met through my interest in QAF, at least most of them. ;)

If it's not your cup of tea, cool. But it's hardly the most vile thing ever to come across cable. Lord.
posted by calyirose at 4:15 PM on June 18, 2002


Calyirose, you're not alone. I love it in the same way I loved Melrose Place and Dynasty ... high soap opera.

Bah! QaF and the entire fan cult mentality that has surrounded it is beyond me.

TuffAustin, most people I've heard exclaim this in my life say it while walking out the door to go to a dance club where there will be drugs and lots of pretty boys to have anonymous unsafe sex with. Go figure. :)
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:42 PM on June 18, 2002


I enjoy QAF for the same reasons WolfDaddy. I was addicted to Melrose and Dynasty. I would even attend drag bingo on Monday nights when I lived in Chicago; just to see Melrose on a big screen prior to the fun.

As far as the comic goes, I was hoping for something a little different. A little less like the show maybe? Either way...I'll still read it to see where it goes from here.

Also, I've always been a fan of Ethan Green.
posted by gummi at 4:54 PM on June 18, 2002


The comic is awful, artless, and obvious,

I'm not sure this "comic" is really meant to be taken seriously as one. It's a creation of two of the characters in the series, and Showtime is just making use of the web to add some "meta" content, you might say, by putting the comic online. Sorta like how the HBO site has stuff for every episode of Six Feet Under (character diaries and the like) that expands on the stories.

As for QAF, yeah, it's fun soap opera. But note that one reason it is the way it is, is that the core audience is NOT gay men but heterosexual women. Being into guy-on-guy action is all the rage among straight women these days, apparently. Like, the vast amount of "slash fiction" on the web, the vast majority is written by women. So this show gives that type of woman a "fandom" series where the characters are already doing "slash."
posted by dnash at 4:58 PM on June 18, 2002


Rage: "I know how to bring him back to life."
Zephyr: "I bet you do."

Ha! Just like QAF itself: laugh-out-loud soapy camp. In other words, I LOVE IT!
posted by arielmeadow at 5:01 PM on June 18, 2002


Oh, and to address su's original question -- whether there's a need for gay discourse and/or literature -- I honestly don't think it applies to QAF. The audience for the show is overwhelmingly straight female, at least in my hometown.

Perhaps it's a form of slash in that light?? :)
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:14 PM on June 18, 2002


Argh. Had to leave my desk after one preview, come back and post only to find I'm parrotting dnash. *blush*
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:15 PM on June 18, 2002


Dykes to Watch Out For is fantastic... I love Sydney!

I can't help but wince when people talk about how the US Queer as Folk is fluffy, campy fun. I adore the original UK Queer as Folk, which was one of the best drama/comedy miniseries I've ever seen-- extremely fast-paced, funny, and intelligent, with great performances and production. (It made me a fan of both Craig Kelly and Aidan Gillen for life.)

The author of the original series, Russell Davies, was a former soap opera writer, and he deliberately wrote the series to be a sort of anti-soap: the UK QAF moves very quickly, nothing is ever spelled out or made obvious, no one ever sits down over coffee and talks about their feelings. It just figures that the US would turn QAF into a typical trashy night-time soap, when the original was meant to be just the opposite.
posted by Zettai at 5:41 PM on June 18, 2002


WolfDaddy said:
Perhaps it's a form of slash in that light?? :)

It's very much like slash. Very few slash fen actually write fan fiction for it, as they would for a typical show, but a great many watch it.

And it really isn't exclusively a heterosexual female thing, either slash or QAF watching (or Bel Ami watching for that matter). The majority of the data on the gender orientation of slash fans is about 20 years out of date. There are many, many women who identify as bisexual and lesbian in the slash community.

In fact, based on my personal experiences within the various groups, I'd say QAF actually has a higher percentage of queer female fans than other slash fan groups. There are also, not surprisingly, a significantly higher percentage of gay males that participate in a variety of ways in the fandom.
posted by calyirose at 6:09 PM on June 18, 2002


Thanks for essay link, Su.

I'll second Ethan Greene and Leonard & Larry. Another great gay comic is Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse, a beautifully drawn, bittersweet coming-of-age story set in the U.S. South during the civil rights struggle. Well-rounded characters and a complex plot make it one of my favorite graphic novels, almost up there with Joe Sacco's stuff. There's an interesting interview with Cruse here. And, of course, there's everyone's favorite queer revenge fantasy, who could kick Rage and Zephyr's asses with her eyes closed.
posted by mediareport at 6:58 PM on June 18, 2002


Queer as Folk is really good stuff indeed, and some of it is very astute social criticism. Contrary to common opinion, it's not your typical soap opera fodder... they had several episodes this season squarely targeted at issues such as the "homogination" of gays... My favorite episode of the year was the "Gay as Blazes" episode, depicting a fictional TV show within the show where all the gay characters read poetry, abstained from sex for sex' sake, and were decidedly intellectual.

To me, the best feature of the show is that it is unappolegetically itself. While the characters might bounce from situation to situation, they are squarely out to have fun in the here and now. The characters want their cake, and they will eat it too. It is no wonder that the center of the show is Brian, a lead character who is unrepentantly apolitical, cynical about organized anything, motivated by fufillment of his immediate desires, and yet is the driving force for most of the good things that happen to the other characters. His wanton excess is the stuff from which dreams are made of.

In soap operas this might be standard behavior, but in an American show about the gay lifestyle, this is revolutionary and should be applauded as such.
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:43 PM on June 18, 2002


they had several episodes this season squarely targeted at issues such as the "homogination" of gays...

Ah yes... the problem of gay alcoholism...
posted by kindall at 11:54 PM on June 18, 2002


It's pretty much just a soap opera.
Wow! If the US version of QaF is really and truly comparable to Melrose Place and Dynasty, it must be a very different beast than the UK version that I thought it was based on. I wasn't the greatest fan of the original, but it was at least unlike anything else that had gone before it.

And allow me to add another recommendation for Leonard and Larry.
posted by jonpollard at 11:59 PM on June 18, 2002


A random bit of information loosely related to the issue,the first major gay comic book hero
posted by drezdn at 1:24 AM on June 19, 2002


ahem. element lad from DC's legion of superheroes was bi way before that (but only passively: his girlfriend shvaughn was actually a guy taking some booster hormone. the truth came out during a medical embargo concurrent with their breakup). mid eighties, i think. you may giggle at me, i'm horrified i know this.
posted by patricking at 2:03 AM on June 19, 2002


ahem. element lad from DC's legion of superheroes was bi way before that (but only passively: his girlfriend shvaughn was actually a guy taking some booster hormone. the truth came out during a medical embargo concurrent with their breakup). mid eighties, i think. you may giggle at me, i'm horrified i know this.
posted by patricking at 2:12 AM on June 19, 2002


mid eighties, i think

Oh, please. You boys think that gays didn't exist before AIDS forced us all to come out, and just love to believe that Northstar or Element Lad or Moondragon was the first gay superhero.

Sorry to burst your bubble but a) Dr. Fate's faaaabulous costume (and helmet) made me gay, and 2) if you know anything about Charles McNider, then you know he's a sistah. The JSA has had a more profound impact on your sexual development than you're willing to give credit for. *chuckle*

"Subtext," he wanders off, muttering, "Don't they teach these whippersnappers anything about subtext these days?"
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:37 AM on June 19, 2002


Speaking of which : you've probably all seen this.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:57 AM on June 19, 2002


Ye lords! I went to the showtime website and got this wonderful message:

We at Showtime Online express our apologies; however, these pages are intended for access only from within the United States.

WHAT THE FUCK? This is the INTERNET!!!!

WHY?
posted by Neale at 7:24 AM on June 19, 2002


I loved QAF in the first season. I got a little tired of the second, but now I'm wishing I had watched it more. I want to rent the British QAF as I've heard it's wonderful.

I have a lot of gay male friends, some watch-but most don't. Mostly they can't believe that such a show exists, even on cable. They may not watch it, but they're glad it's there. Even if it's more than just a little...um...unrealistic.
posted by aacheson at 8:29 AM on June 19, 2002


I did some searching, and while there are LOTS of people who've crabbed about the lockout page on their respective sites, nobody seems to have a reason for it. The site's TOS does have something about downloadables being subject to any US export limitations, etc, but I don't recall there being an embargo on Canada.
I've sent them a question, since I'm curious about it. We'll see what happens.
posted by Su at 11:38 AM on June 19, 2002


There was an issue of Supergirl in the 60s where she was dating this guy who was actually a girl in disguise, and she could tell by the way he/she kissed.

Certainly expanded my little eight-year-old desperate-to-get-his-hands-on-any-american-comic-he-could-even-an-old-issue-of-Supergirl horizons, I can tell you.

Oh, and I've generally wondered, do Americans get the joke(s) in the title of Queer as Folk?
posted by Grangousier at 1:48 PM on June 19, 2002


Grangousier, I only get the joke because it was explained to me. Sorta like calling a couple "Sharon and Dave" in the UK: it's apparently hilarious over there, at least according to my ex-pat Britfriends, and absolutely meaningless over here.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:45 PM on June 19, 2002


Thanks su.
posted by Neale at 10:27 PM on June 19, 2002


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