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Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood, and Frank G. Karioris

On the cover of this issue, we have another image from the Wellcome Collection. This image by ABIA (Associação Brasileira Interdisciplinar de AIDS/Grupo) is a not-for-profit organization mobilized in response to the emergence of HIV/AIDS in the 1980's. The image is a reworking of the “Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo and was used as part of HIV/AIDS prevention advertising campaign.

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Ambivalent Sexualities in a Transnational Context

Romanian and Bulgarian Migrant Male Sex Workers in Berlin

Victor Trofimov


In this article, I explore negotiations of sexualities among Romanian and Bulgarian migrant male sex workers in Berlin. After explaining the concept of sexual script, I argue that inasmuch as those sex workers work on the gay male scene but spend the rest of their daily lives within the broader Romanian and Bulgarian communities, they need to negotiate between the gay male and the heteropatriarchal sexual scripts, which are prevalent in these social spaces, respectively. I examine six strategies by means of which the sex workers surf the binarisms of the scripts and in so doing reveal the ambivalence and sociospatial situatedness of human sexuality.

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Ekaterina Tikhonyuk and Mark McKinney

John Etty, Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union: Krokodil’s Political Cartoons (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2019). 276 pp. ISBN: 978-1496821089 ($30)

Livio Belloï and Fabrice Leroy, Pierre La Police: Une esthétique de la malfaçon (Paris: Serious Publishing, 2019). 200 pp. ISBN: 9782363200266 (30€)

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Jacob Breslow, Jonathan A. Allan, Gregory Wolfman, and Clifton Evers

Miriam J. Abelson. Men in Place: Trans Masculinity, Race, and Sexuality in America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2020), 264 pp. ISBN: 9781517903510. Paperback, $25.

Andrew Reilly and Ben Barry, eds. Crossing Gender Boundaries: Fashion to Create, Disrupt and Transcend (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2020), 225 pp. ISBN: 9781789381146. Hardback, $106.50.

Jonathan A. Allan. Men, Masculinities, and Popular Romance (London: Routledge, 2019), 176 pp. ISBN: 9780815374077. Paperback, $31.95.

Andrea Waling. White Masculinity in Contemporary Australia: The Good Ol’ Aussie Bloke (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2020), 222 pp. ISBN: 9781138633285. Hardback, $124.

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The Bunker and the Desert

On the Motif of the Cube-panel in Inside Moebius

Renaud Chavanne

Dispensing with semiological terms inappropriately applied to comics, this article uses the concept of the ‘cube-panel’ to show that the comics panel is indissociable from drawing itself. There is no ‘code’, only drawing. The cube-panel is exemplified in Inside Moebius. Rather than sampling from a wider, out-of-frame space, it represents a retreat from that space, a prison or refuge, both suggestive of an inner life. The title promises just such a revelation, but it is in the nature of a Moebius strip, and of a graphic representation of the author’s self, for that inside to be inseparable from an outside. Two examples of the inside–outside pairing recur throughout: the desert, representing a creative void, and the bunker, in which the artist externalises himself.

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James K. Beggan


External ejaculation (the cum shot) is considered a central component of heterosexual pornography and is often used to visually mark the end of an action of sexual intercourse. Critical analyses of pornography have asserted that external ejaculation can be conceptualized in terms of the maintenance of heteronormative expectations of male dominance as expressed through hegemonic masculinity. The present analysis adopts a broader view of external ejaculation by considering the phenomenon in terms of contamination, performance, and discipline. The polysemic analysis presented suggests that in some cases the conventions of pornography as represented in the external cum shot can represent a threat to masculinity and male spectators by creating unrealistic expectations for male sexual performance.

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Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood, and Frank G. Karioris

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“The Dragon Can't Roar”

Analysis of British Expatriate Masculinity in Yusuf Dawood's One Life Too Many

Antony Mukasa Mate


This article examines British masculinity in Kenya. It focuses on British expatriate Sydney Walker, the protagonist of Yusuf Dawood's One Life Too Many, who moves to Kenya at the height of British colonial rule and stays on in the new postcolonial state under black rule. It looks at how he constructs his masculinity among fellow men and in relation to the female other. Walker struggles to retain the colonial masculinity of his predecessors amid shifting terrain. Using the key concepts of hegemonic and subordinate masculinities as presented in Raewyn Connell's masculinity theory, which argues that gendered relationships in institutions are controlled by power, this article examines the diverse masculinities in One Life Too Many and argues that sex plays a major role as an instrument of power that heterosexual men use to dominate other men and subordinate women. It contends that the power dynamics in the sexual arena symbolically represent the shifting power relations in the postcolonial Kenyan state, in which the status of British working-class men had changed due to their loss of political power.

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Francisca Lladó

This article analyses the various components of a graphic novel, El Perdón y la furia [Forgiveness and Fury] by Antonio Altarriba and Keko, about the Baroque painter José de Ribera. It does so within a framework drawn from art history and studies the transgressive role of images through citation, intertextual borrowing, or creation by Keko in the manner of Ribera. A comparative analysis of the artist’s biography and the graphic narration uncovers a series of parallels between historically attested and fictitious events that can be seen as the common thread in a thriller based on the fight against power. It concludes by returning to the same themes within a contemporary setting, while Ribera’s story and that of his present-day fictional counterpart simultaneously reveal human truths.

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Thierry Groensteen

Thierry Groensteen looks back over the years during which he edited Les Cahiers de la Bande Dessinée, transformed from the earlier Schtroumpf into a publication that promoted analysis and brought challenging and ambitious comics to the attention of readers, in a context where an earlier generation of comics studies pioneers had deserted the medium, and the experimentation of 1970s comics had given way to the dominance of more commercially viable series. Groensteen details the complex labour of putting a journal together, the recruiting of contributors, the coexistence of disparate theoretical approaches, and the hostility from certain quarters of the comics milieu that considered the journal pretentiously intellectual. The legacy of Les Cahiers endures in the form of major works for which it laid the foundations.