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Carla, you are drawing some gorgeous eyes in the past few pages. Especially like Rachel’s, here.
Drag King Emma reminds me a bit of Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria. Which is to say: swoon.
Yes, and Brigham’s and Jaeger’s hands are especially well-crafted, too.
So clearly Rachel, having completely internalized Llaverac culture in pursuit of her peerage, regards an attraction to masculine men as a “perversion.” This kind of inner conflict likely manifested in her mom as those debilitating migraines. Possibly also Rachel’s incipient alcoholism, but I have a hunch this is going to lead her (and us) in an unexpected direction, yes?
Beautiful eyes, ..and just LOOK at the gorgeous composition in the lower panel-
the way the flow of hands twine around and hold this nutball family together visually.
Oh good, I was wondering if I was the only one really struck by the eyes.
Although whether I’m the only one moderately crushing out on Rachel for her eyes alone remains to be seen.
Damn, that’s heartbreaking. I was totally expecting the “bears as the ultimate taboo sexuality” thing, but not that gorgeous portrait of the pre-break family. They’re all so iconic here, too– Emma as drama queers incarnate, Brig as the strong, solid man of the family, and Jaeger as the trickster, with those cat’s eyes and holding a fire in his hand. And okay, she’s talking about het as a perversion, and it’s funny, but the luminous, half teared-up eyes she has looking at that tableau. Damn, lady. This is some powerful stuff.
This does make me wonder what Emma’s folks thought of her ‘perversions’. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from them.
Wait… ” Mom WAS a complete pervert”?
Why the past tense? Has she come around to appreciating female shaped people like a proper Llaverec lady?
Oh, and what happened to Emma’s pregnancy scare? She must still be hanging around with males, I gather…
(I’d love to see the toys, dolls, and doll houses young Llaverecs play with. Do both sexes of young Llaverecs collect model horse toys? Or is that is only a TRUE “girl” thing?)
well there arew two possibilities for Emma’s baby’s father, Jaeger or another Llaverac, cause I’d be willing to bet that the separation from Brigham (and everything that led to it and happened after) has left a few trust issues with strong masculine figures. I wondered if Brigham fell for Emma when she was in drag, which would make both Rachels parents ‘perverts’ in the eyes of their respective societies. Which is by itself enough crap for any kid to carry, without worring what her own predelections might mean.
“She’s talking about het as a perversion.” Really? Surely, it is not Emma’s desiring sex with men that makes her a pervert, it is her attachment to masculinity.
And isn’t that the deeper thing? Doesn’t that get to the heart of why some people still think same-sex couplings are perverse? It’s not the biology, it is the conviction that someone must be playing an inappropriate gender rôle: hence men who will happily penetrate other men, but who don’t think that makes them “queer”–they’re still “playing the man’s (gender) rôle”–, and the horror some men have of being penetrated, as then they’d be acting like girls–and what could be worse than that?
Emma can’t step outside of gender rôles by screwing someone of the wrong sex–there is no wrong sex–, and for a Llaverac appropriate gender rôle is not determined by sex (they are all supposed to be feminine–but we see this through Rachel’s eyes, so that could be wrong!), but she can still refuse femininity in herself and in her partners.
Of course, Llaveracs may need non-Llaveracs in order to see her deviation as one from prescribed gender rôle. Hey, maybe they don’t, and we’re seeing this through Rachel-goggles.
Make any sense?
reptangle, the dialogue balloons form a kind of twine along the same grain as the hands.
Matthew, I’m kinda following what you’re saying. This is kinda what I was saying on some other page, how masculinity is something of the taboo in the Llaverac clan. And, as you say, it seems that not only did Emma want to have sex with and marry a manly man, but she wanted to BE a man, and really embrace her masculinity.
Interesting that, still, the drag clubs were popular in Llaverac culture. I guess that was something of a counterculture there?
Re: Llaverac counter culture
I don’t see how there *couldn’t* be a Llaverac counter culture (or at least, waves of Llaverac counter culture, that rise and fall). They’re the artists’ clan – and art rarely thrives without a certain amount of conflict and subversion. I’d be willing to bet that Llaverac culture always brings forth its own counter cultures, also.
Matthew– I was probably a little too flip there with throwing terms around– I was using “het” as a shorthand for “heteronormative” (with all of the rigid gender roles, enshrined masculinity, and institutionalized misogyny that the term implies, which you detailed in your comment), rather than “heterosexual”. I agree with everything you’re saying about gender roles, and that masculinity is taboo in Llaverac culture– or at least some combination of cis masculinity and manly-man masculinity, because various kinds of dandyism or intellectual masculinity seem to be ok. The teddyboy, Emma’s drag proclivities before she took the step of pursuing “blatant men” romantically, and the Bowie/Laurie Anderson from a few pages back aren’t notably outrageous, although they’re all masculine expressions filtered through a base assumption of femininity or performance– explicit drag rather than transmasculinity? Lord Rod also dressed in male-coded tweeds, although that reminded me more of someone like Radclyffe Hall than a male professor. /babbling
Salvage: ah, but heteronormativity is a perversion (at least, it ought to be stamped out), of course.
Oneiros: “she wanted to BE a man”: are you sure? Drag doesn’t imply a desire for sex reassignment surgery. (Nor the other way about, although the people in charge of the scalpels may have some pretty funny ideas about what it is to live as a member of the preferred sex.)
No, I’m not sure, but I worded it that way as another way of expressing “attachment to masculinity” or “embracing her masculinity”. I suppose there is some subtle difference.
So Rachel would prefer pluck a pheasant than a swan.
That explains the suitors she thought were hot, all, or most of them where on the pheasanty side.
Llaveracs have probably bred attraction to masculines largely out of their bloodline, or tried to. Emma didn’t breed true, so she’s a pervert. Makes sense.
Oh, and I am indeed INTENSELY crushing out on the eyes of Sad Rachel here. As, I assume, is every sucker for pretty femme forlorn who’s reading these pages. Sigh…
I always thought that Llaveracs were all about androgyny and genderfuck. Think of Rachel’s grandfather singing Annie Lennox’s “I need a man,” the suit/showgirl outfit Rachel wore in her conformation, and the butch-er end of the spectrum in Rachel’s suitors? Is the butch-est Llaverac in the world still only second best to Rachel?
Is this really more about class? A Llaverac in a tuxedo is okay, but a flannel shirt is not? Thin (upper class) androgyny is okay, but heavy (working class) androgyny is not?
Or is this just one of those subtle cultural taboos/norms that are ultimately pretty arbitrary?
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