A Public Service Announcement! ;)

A Public Service Announcement! ;)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

AIDS in Sequential Art

So for months now I've had this store of comics stories in which AIDs is featured in one way or another, with the idea being that I'd eventually post them as a tribute to one of my favorite graphic novels, Judd Winick's Pedro and Me, in which roommates on a popular reality television show learn to live with and love a fellow cast member, Pedro Zamora, who is HIV positive and ultimately succumbs to AIDs-related illness.

Well, National AIDS Awareness Month isn't until October (I thought it was in April, for some reason), but I just can't wait any longer.

As I've often said, the sequential art format offers many rich examples of texts engaging in sociocultural and sociopolitical issues. Pedro and Me may be among the best-known graphic novels to deal explicitly with safe sex and AIDS, but it's hardly the only one. Below is a list of other titles or stories that do the same, and I encourage anyone to post other examples that they may know. (There may be some overlap in the titles mentioned below from various sources).

Strip AIDS USA (1989) Coedited with Trina Robbins, Bill Sienkiewicz and Robert Triptow. An AIDS benefit comics anthology which included work from cartoonists Frank Miller, Sergio Aragones, Alison Bechdel, Weiill Eisner, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Moebius, Harvey Pekar, Marie Severin, and others. (Thanks to Trina for this information)

Thanks to Andy Mangels (see http://www.andymangels.com/and http://www.wonderwomanmuseum.com/) for the following timeline of other AIDs-related comics, apparently created originally for Gay and PRISM Comics:

1986• Megaton #4 contains the first comic book reference to AIDS

1987• Jon Sable, Freelance #44-45 features the first major AIDS storyline in comics (First Comics)
• Strip AIDS, an AIDS benefit anthology trade paperback, is released in the UK (Willyprods/Small Time Ink)

1988• Strip AIDS USA, an AIDS benefit anthology trade paperback (Last Gasp)
• AIDS News, an AIDS education book (People of Color Against AIDS Network)

1989• HOMO PATROL, a graphic novel dealing with AIDS and homophobia (Helpless Anger, 1989).

1991• Within Our Reach, an AIDS benefit anthology trade paperback (Star Reach/Marvel)

1992• Real Life Comics presents Healthman: The AIDS Crisis (Personality Comics)

1993• AIDS Awareness, an anthology comic book, is published in the UK (Chaos City Comics)
• The AIDS Awareness Trading Card Set is released. Each pack contains a condom. (Eclipse)

1994• The Incredible Hulk 420, in which a major supporting character dies of AIDS (Marvel)
• The Incredible Condom Man (Aaaahh!! Comics)

1995• Free World Comics, an AIDS education book (World Comics)
• Chris Companik’s “HIV + ME” starts as a comic strip in Atlanta AIDS Survival Project’s newsletter Survival News (January 1995). The strips began running in A & U magazine beginning March 2003.

1996• Seven Miles a Second, a graphic novel, and an autobiographical story about a hustler dying of AIDS (DC/Vertigo)

2000• Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned, a graphic novel account of author Judd Winick's friendship with the late AIDS activist Pedro Zamora, is nominated for a Pulitzer Prize (Henry Holt)

Andrew L. has offered titles Blue Pills and Lost Raven (buy this one and some of your money goes to the Evergreen AIDS Foundation, according to Amazon.com), the superhero comic Shadow Hawk and Howard Cruse's story "Safe Sex" (most probably from his work in The Advocate magazine).


Anonymous said...

Here is a list of Japanese Manga dealing with AIDS. I put this together while trying to decide on content for a presentation on illness in comic art. I ended up presenting of syphillis, and only ever got my hands on a couple of comics from this list. From the names most appear to be specifically educational comics. These maybe difficult to access for anyone interested, so I have added the ISBN numbers to help. The square bracketed areas are my translations of the titles, organizations making the comics, or descriptions from a ublishers database.

Hirooka Kyushi.“Medikaru manga michi e no chosen – AIDS [Medical Manga: Taking on the Unknown – AIDS]”Mainichi Shinbun-sha [Mainichi Newspaper Co.], 1987 (ISBN: 4620770019)

Hirooka Kyushi.“Manga-ban Eizu – ‘Goro to Yuki’ aru ai no monogatari [Manga-edition AIDS – ‘Goro and Yuki’ The Story of a Love]”Bunka Sosaku Shuppan, 1992 (ISBN: 4893870491)

Nishimura Toshimi. “Dr. Nisshi no shin-ano koto – seiki no nayami kara Eizu made! Manga sumizumi made wakaru sei-kyoiku [Dr. Nisshi’s new “that thing”- from genital concerns to AIDS! Sex Education to understand everything]”Homu-sha, 1992 (ISBN: 483426002X)

Hirokawa Ryuichi & Saegusa Yoshihiro. “AIDS – Shonen wa naze shinda ka [AIDS – Why did the boy die?]”Kodansha, 1993 (ISBN: 4063193802)

Kitami Kenichi. “AIDS (Eizu) – Kore dake wa shitteokitai (manga homu dokuta) [AIDS – I want you to know at least this (Manga home doctor)], Shogakkan, 1993(ISBN: 4093043043)

Tamagawa Shigenori. “Manga de Wakaru: Wagako o mamoru tame ni mazu oya ga yomu AIDS(Eizu) no hon [Understanding with Manga: For the Protection of one’s child parents should start by reading this AIDS book] Kou Shobo, 1993 (ISBN: 4769604726)

Eizu Kyoiku kenkyu-kai[Society for the Study of AIDS Education]. “Manga Hibu (HIV): Ken & Yuki – Eizu o tadashiku rikaishi yobou shiyou [Manga HIV: Ken and Yuki – Let’s understand AIDS correctly and prevent it]” Gyousei, 1993 (ISBN: 4324036527)

Arufa komikku (Alpha Comic). “Manga de Yomu Eizu [Reading AIDS through Manga]” Arufa komikku, 1994 (ISBN: 4793903355)

Arufa komikkusu (Alpha Comics). “dia [Dear]” Arufa komikkusu, 1994 (ISBN: 4793903339)(DATABASE ENTRY: By talking abut AIDS, this comic overcomes AIDS and turns its gaze on human “life and death.”)

Medikaru Rebyuu-sha henshuu [Medical Review Co.eds]. “Manga: tadashiku shirou Eizu [Manga: Let’s know AIDS correctly]” Medikaru Rebyuu-sha, 1995 (ISBN: 4896001044)

Kobayashi Yoshinori. “Shin-Goumanizumu Senden supesharu Datsu Seigi ron [New Manifesto of Arrogance Special – On an Escape from Justice]”Gentosha, 1996

Murase Yukihiro. “Eizu to no kyoson – Ningen no Ai to Kizuna [Living with AIDS – Human love and ties]”(cartoonist Eda Fumio) Jikkyo Shuppan, 1996 (ISBN: 4407029129)

Saegusa Yoshihiro & Hirokawa Ryuichi. “AIDS 2– Tsugerarenakatta jijitsu[AIDS 2– The Truth that Couldn’t be told]”Kodansha, 1993 (ISBN: 4407029129)

Naruse Kyoko. “Sono toki, Sekai ga kawatta – Fighting AIDS Contracted by Contaminated Blood Products with the Power of Love]”Kodansha, 1996  (ISBN: 4063256979)

Natsume Masako, Satonaka Machiko (comic artist) & Kotatsu Kazuo. “Jinsei no Okurimono – Hito no Deai to Nukumori o motomete: Satonaka Machiko ‘Jun to Yoko’ & Natsume Masako Gurafuti [Life’s Gift – Seeking the Encounters and Warmth of People: Satonaka Machiko “Jun and Yoko” & Natsume Masako Graffiti]” Kodansha, 1997 (ISBN: 4063300331)

Yamamoto Naohide, Takayanagi Michiko & Higashiyama Etsuko. “Manga de Yomu Hitobito no sei to sei (5) Atarashi jibun o mitsukeyou – Eizu, Senso no naka no sei, Baibaishun, danjo kyodo sankaku shakai [Reading People’s lives and Sex through Manga (vol.5) Let’s find new selves – AIDS, sex in war, prostitutes and their customers, cooperative participation of males and females in society]” Popura-sha, 2000 (ISBN: 4591063623)

Bucky C. said...

Thanks so much for this list, Ron!

Bucky C. said...

Brazos Price has pointed out that in the DC series Green Arrow, the eponymous character's kid sidekick Speedy was revealed to be HIV positive. Thanks, BP!