THE HOTNESS! An Interview with Sina Sparrow. x

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Hey Sina, hows it going? First, can you tell a little bit about yourself…

Hey I’m doing alright, just doing some boring work stuff so this is a fun distraction. My name is Sina Sparrow, I’ve been making self-published comics and zines since I was 16, which was a long time ago. My comics and art are mainly autobiographical and to do with love, sex, romance, loneliness, going a bit crazy, and gay life in the city. I also run and DJ at a queer club night called DEBBIE where me and my DJing partner Bitchcakes play female-fronted rock pop indie and disco music. It’s a really fun night.
Who do think influences your work most? (aesthetically and otherwise)
OK this is a really hard question. I try and keep my work quite personal (even when it’s not autobiographical) and my work is quite sexual, so it’s mainly autobiographical cartoonists and gay erotic artists. Autobiographical artists who have influenced me include Robert Kirby who recently edited an anthology called QU33R; the late Harvey Pekar who did American Splendor; and Carrie McNinch who does a lovely diary comic called You Don’t Get There From Here. I also love the work of Jon Macy who recently did an erotic fantasy graphic novel called Fearful Hunter; and the work of the late Bud Larsen who’s a little-known early gay erotic illustrator; as well as other gay porn comics by people like The Hun, Julius, and Teddy of Paris. I also love Silver Age Marvel and DC superhero comics like Wonder Woman, Dr Strange, Son of Satan, anything by Jack Kirby… the romance comics as well. I also like some of what gets classed as “fine art” especially people like Keith Haring, Frida Kahlo, and Nan Goldin.
Summertime Sadness Aug 17 diary comic Color
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 CONGRATULATIONS on finishing your PHD! Whenever I hear about it, I’m fascinated…Can you just tell people what its about briefly?

(I guess you’re sick of it, but seriously, a PHD on queer comix I think is amazing!)

 Well like you say, it’s a history and critical analysis of American queer male comics. Basically I talk about the emergence of gay comics in the 60s and 70s, and about how the field is largely dominated by comics about gay community life on the one hand (or what I call “gay ghetto comics”), and pornographic comics on the other. A lot of these comics were brilliant and they were all about establishing a strong sense of gay identity and community, and showing gay sex explicitly, in a particularly difficult, oppressive time and atmosphere. I argue that over the 80s a lot of the themes and character types in these gay ghetto and gay porno comics became quite conventionalized and even stereotyped. In the late 80s and especially the 90s, the conventions of these comics were challenged by a new generation of queer male comics artists. They didn’t ditch the conventiosn completely but played around with them. So for example Rob Kirby’s strip Curbside was sort-of a gay ghetto comic as it focused on gay friends and urban gay life, but it was very critical of consumerism in the gay community, and made a really nerdy, shy, skinny gay character the main focus whereas many other gay ghetto comics were focused on hunky party boys. And Jon Macy’s erotic comic Fearful Hunter is sexually explicit in places, but also delves into the main characters’ personal lives, their feelings, and their emotions. It’s a supernatural love story with explicit gay sex in it, so it’s playing around with the genre conventions of the gay porno comics.
What are you concentrating on at the moment?
Well I am trying to get over handing in the PhD and getting back to drawing (I had a big break while I was finishing it.) I’ve just put out the second issue of my zine PRETTY BOYS IGNORE YOU and I want to get back to work on my diary comics in ART FAG and my own erotic porno comic ATASH, FALLEN ANGEL OF LOVE. Expect at least another zine from me before the end of this year (hopefully.)

Anything else you’d like to add?

Check out my website and email me at if you like, and come to my club night – more details on – and thank you Dimitri for interviewing me 🙂
Get your copies of Sina’s Zines at our Pop-Up event 24-26 October! X
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