InSEXts 1: Chrysalis

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Are There Lesbians? Yes

What Happens?
A lady and her maid/wife take vengeance on a world where men are free to treat women and children like dirt.

The Verdict:
Not gonna lie, I came for the sexy butterfly monster ladies and stayed for the extraordinary writing.

***NSFW UNDER CUT***

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(Yeah thats cool I guess)
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(*slams fists on table* SIGN ME THE FUCK UP)

What I guess I’m saying here is that it’s extraordinarily easy to get me to check something out if there are queer monster ladies and that I’m mature enough to admit that I’m immature enough to have bought a comic because it had the word “sex” in the title. I may or may not have giggled a little bit too.

But wait there’s more.

Not only is the majority of the creative staff made up of women (and at this point it becomes important to note that InSEXts is a creator owned indie comic) but the artists and colourists are all Indonesian. I’m not Indo but one of my work friends is and she got extremely excited about this, so I wanted to make sure I emphasised that fact, for her sake as well as for the importance of emphasising POC contribution.

On that note, the main character Lady Bertram is Indian (although she herself emphasises that she was born in London) and the story does not shy away from the inherent intersectionality this brings – being of colour and a woman in Victorian England. Or just being of colour and a woman really, as the point of this comic is that such discriminations just don’t go away.

InSEXts takes these discriminations and turns them into a form of power. In her author’s introduction Marguerite Bennett writes “I wrote InSEXts because I am a woman, and to be a woman is to live a life of body horror.” She then takes the horror that women have of their bodies, that men have of women’s bodies, and makes it into something more physically there, something more visibly transformative, and more importantly, more powerful. The difference becomes something that can be used to protect those who need it and to fight against those who would use the downtrodden for their own ends.

As many of you may have noticed, I am a big fan of horror, just sort of in general, but also for its ability to act as a medium of social commentary. Genre fiction often gets overlooked for its ability to speak to the masses, and the barest bit of reading shows you the concern mass production of novels brought to academia due to their supposed adverse affect on women. Therefore it is not only appropriate but also necessary for the themes of InSEXts to be produced within the horror genre, in a readily available format.

InSEXts does contain some graphic content, of both violent and sexual natures. It also contains abuse in quite dramatic amounts so I can understand that this comic isn’t for anyone. However, it is a comic about overcoming, even if it is with the help of a little magic.

InSEXts has really proved to be a diamond in the rough and I cannot wait to see where the next volume will take me!

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