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Web Comic Series: “Queer Comic Conversations”
Together in Colour

Talking in coloured pictures: “Queer Comic Conversations”
Talking in coloured pictures: “Queer Comic Conversations” | Photo (detail): Anna Heger and Sam Orchard

The artists Anna Heger and Sam Orchard send their avatars to various places in New Zealand and Germany for the comic series “Queer Comic Conversations”. They talk about their experiences as queer people, encounters with hatred and violence and about support systems.

By Daniel Welsch

The nature of the collaboration between Anna Heger and Sam Orchard is not due to the coronavirus pandemic, but to the vast distance between their homelands. Since there are more than 18,300 kilometres between New Zealand and Germany, the artists could only meet in the digital space. They also meet now in their comics where they show each other queer places or events in their hometowns of Munich and Wellington. In the first episode of “Queer Comic Conversations”, Anna Heger takes Sam Orchard to the pride parade on Munich’s Marienplatz and Sam Orchard explains why there are two parades in Wellington.

Since the measures to limit the coronavirus made real travel impossible, Sam Orchard was all the more delighted to send his comic avatar on the journey. “When we were doing this comic, we were both in lockdown,” explains the creator of the comic series “Rooster Tails” in an interview at the International Comic Salon in Erlangen. “We were both stuck at home in our apartments. So to be able to kind of travel magically by a comic was quite exciting.” Other locations in the monthly comic series include demonstrations, parks, community centres and bars.

Detail from the first episode of the web comic about Christopher Street Day Detail from the first episode of the web comic about Christopher Street Day | Photo (detail): Anna Heger and Sam Orchard

In these places, the two queer artists talk about hostiliy against trans and queer people, their experiences with hatred and violence, but also about chosen families, safe places and support systems for queer people. The next episode of the series will deal with the problems and implications of gendered pronouns and their alternatives in English and German. Anna Heger created one of these alternatives, the non-binary pronoun “xier.”

“My pronoun, the xier pronoun, it is sometimes used by trans people, but a lot of people on the trans spectrum are actually using he and she pronouns,” says Anna Heger. “This is something the person in question should decide. Xier is not a trans pronoun per se, it’s a pronoun that could be helpful for non-binary people and that could be used to talk about everybody when you don’t know the genders.”

The two artists worked together on the six episodes. The colour scheme indicates who drew which part of the comic. Figures and objects framed in green are by Sam Orchard; Anna Heger uses violet tones. At the end of each episode there is a collection of explanations and helpful links to further information so that interested readers can delve deeper into the topics covered.