Wednesday Webcomics: Visit the Queer 1940s in “SuperButch”


SuperButch recounts the story of Lillian “Sticks” Lewis, a Turtle City reporter seeking information on the whereabouts of the legendary SuperButch, a superhero who takes down the cops that raid Gay Bars at the time.

Sticks narrates her story to Professor Alicia Torres and Assistant Tammy Barr in 1988. Back in the 1940s, most Queer adults flock to the bar scene to be themselves and even find love. And, of course, the cops often find and raid these bars. Reporter Sticks deals with sexism and racism in the newsroom. Because of her very light skin, she intentionally passes as white during her job and attends the Bar scene at night as herself. The intolerant public calls Queer people perverts, but the Queer characters Sticks interacts with, including her girlfriend Kansas (Japanese-American), are human beings with desires and nowhere else to go to express their true selves. The webcomic does an excellent job of showing the complexities and intersectional approaches to the 1940s Bar scene.

SuperButch panels

SuperButch, an ongoing webcomic, dusts off American Queer history that’s been censored or obscured. Even Alicia and Tammy are surprised when Sticks mentions that Queer people got married secretly back then regardless of it being prohibited. Queer people in the bar scene claim separate names to protect their identity (like “Sticks” for Lillian). Some of these people unfortunately get arrested or worse during police raids. But then comes SuperButch, a superhero who stops the cops from harming the bar patrons. A hero whose super strength seems more real than myth. It appears that nobody knows SuperButch’s true identity, but Sticks, eager for a big story to report, is determined to find her.

An inclusive and much needed look at a nearly forgotten part of America’s Queer history.

SuperButch panels 2

SuperButch by Becky Hawkins and Barry Deutsch is available to read online.

For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archives! You can also check out more Queer comics recommendations here.

Author: Bradda M.

Bradda M. currently lives in Virginia. He teaches ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) at a public school and spends his free time reading and watching movies each night with his partner. For The Geekiary, he writes about webcomics and SFF media.

Help support independent journalism. Subscribe to our Patreon.

Copyright © The Geekiary

Do not copy our content in whole to other websites. If you are reading this anywhere besides, it has been stolen.
Read our policies before commenting. Be kind to each other.