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Rude Girls and Dangerous Women

A 90-page collection of strips, Laugh Lines Press, 1994.
Buy from Amazon.

Category: humor, lesbian.

Author(s): Jennifer Camper.

One of the bittersweet strips

It's been a pleasure to learn that this 1994 collection of Jennifer Camper's strips was still available, after years when I believed otherwise (which explains why I hadn't reviewed it, too). If you don't know her work, you're in for a treat. Contrary to her serious contribution to the recent Juicy Mother anthology, which she also edited, those strips are very in-your-face, very funny, and very not intended for general audience.

A lot of Camper's humor uses clichés about women and/or lesbian, to better stand them on their head, like the classical scene with guys waiting for their wives/girlfriends to come out of the lavatories, wondering what takes them so long... the answer could not be shown in all-ages book, that's for sure. A healthy appetite for sex is often part of the strips, as is a radical attitude toward machismo, which reminded me of Roberta Gregory's story in the first issue of Naughty Bits, where she showed the Robert Crumb's fantasies about women for what they are. Straight guys are surely less excited about strips showing them being castrated for fun...
Some other strips are more reality-grounded, with aids and relationships being the subjects of many strips. Race issues also drive stories, and show that the author is sensitive to varied kinds of discrimination.
The art is often simple, but effective, and the dry humor is well served by this no-frills approach.
Rude Girls and Dangerous Women might not be to everyone's taste, yet I think that's a definite advantage over more consensual strips, which of course can also be fun, but the mordant tone of Jennifer Camper's work is a breath of fresh air, even a decade after the publication of this collection.

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