Triumph of queer comics: Justin Hall wins Lambda, ‘Adèle’ takes Cannes

Pub date June 4, 2013
WriterMarke B.
SectionPixel Vision

Two cool, queer graphic surprises, just in time for Pride month. First, local comics hero, Califormia College of the Arts professor, and frequent SFBG contributor (not to mention out-of-the-closet Batman lover) Justin Hall took the 2013 Lambda Award for Best Anthology yesterday with his groundbreaking historical queer comics survey No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics (Fantagraphics Books).

This a huge deal, as this is the first time a comics anthology has won. (A graphic novel by Oakland’s Jon Macy, Teleny and Camille, won for Best Erotic Novel in 2011, also a first.)

Hall told me right after his win:

“I’m thrilled that the Lambdas have made such a strong statement recognizing comics as a legitimate literary medium that has told powerful stories of LGBT lives, loves, and identities for the last four decades. This is a validation of a tremendous amount of work, and of an artistic community that truly deserves its time in the spotlight!”

This followed on the heels of the massive success of French movie La Vie d’Adèle, a.k.a. Blue is the Warmest Colour to anglophones, a supposedly very explicit erotic lesbian tale set in the ’90s which won its director Abdellatif Kechiche and two lead actresses Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux the Palme d’Or at Cannes last week.

Blue is based on the sensational graphic novel Le bleu est une couleur chaude (Blue Angel to us, now that it’s being rushed into translation) by Julie Maroh, which took five years to write, and was started when Maroh was 19. It’s an epic sexy heartwrencher, and the film, which is 3 hours long, will probably open here next year. The translated book will come out on small Canadian press Arsenal Publishing very soon, we hope.