Is There Anything More Queer Than Classic Horror?

Capes, transformations, amazing entrances—is there anything more queer than classic horror?

How about when horror is presented in comics form, a medium with few boundaries and a long history of cultural subversion? Editors William O. Tyler and Justin Hall (No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics) have conjured a rogue’s gallery of queer cartoonists for a brand-new anthology called Theater of Terror: Revenge of the Queers, celebrated in a launch party Sept. 25.

With a cover that recalls '50s EC Comics like Tales From the Crypt, the book weighs in at a hefty 272 pages full of gore and glamour. Art imitates life as San Francisco’s favorite midnight movie drag queen impresario Peaches Christ serves as the book’s ghoulish hostess, haunting a post-apocalyptic Castro Theatre where she forces uninvited guests to watch the stories unfold.

Art from "Sanguine," by Emeric Kennard, from 'Theater of Terror: Revenge of the Queers.'

In Theater of Terror, true-life LGBTQ horror, be it cultural oppression or just an especially gnarly date, are transformed into over 30 tales of demons, zombies, and monsters in the closet. Puppy play goes awry during the full moon, a transgender ghost haunts a senator’s estate, and a creepy advance is thwarted with assistance from a Lake Merritt mermaid.

Established and emerging cartoonists alike lend their talents: Howard Cruse (Gay Comix) Lee Marrs (Wimmens Comix), Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer), Jennifer Camper (Juicy Mother), Ed Luce (Wuvable Oaf), Sina Grace (Self-Obsessed), and dozens more.

For the Hump Day leading into Folsom Street Fair weekend, (the real) Peaches Christ hosts a free evening of author readings from Theater of Terror, with a performance by drag king goth boy band Nine Inch Males.

—Janelle Hessig

September 25, 2019

The Strut
470 Castro St., San Francisco

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