Wednesday, January 16, 2008

beyond Katy Keene

When I was a youngster, my first favorite comic book character was Katy Keene, the long legged fashion queen with jet black hair. I was fascinated by her glamorous image and I loved cutting out the Katy Keene paper dolls and outfits that appeared in the pages of her comic books.

No one ever discouraged Little Lana's interest in Katy Keene. In fact, Ma abetted it by helping me cut out the more difficult outfits. (Sometimes I think Ma wanted me to be a girl. She always encouraged me in all of my interests including those on the feminine side of the street.)

I don't recall any crossdressing in the pages of Katy Keene, but I did wish I could wear some of the outfits that Katy wore.

As I grew older, I started to worry about my image, so I stopped buying Katy Keene off the comic book racks to avoid being branded a "sissy." Superman, Batman, Dick Tracy, and Mad magazine replaced Katy and soon I encountered crossdressing in their four-colored pages.

I remember a female impersonating gangster appearing in a Batman story. I also recall a story in which Superman's pal, Jimmy Olsen, went undercover en femme. Dick Tracy had so many encounters with gangsters in drag that I still wonder about the Chester Gould's feminine side. Over the years, Mad had numerous encounters with crossdressing.

An excellent source for these crossdressing references is the TG Graphics and Fiction Archive. Last time the Web site was updated was March 2002, but the site is still live and an excellent resource for learning more about crossdressing in the comics.

Meanwhile, Japanese comic books (manga) and cartoons (anime) have lots of crossdressing. I am researching this subject now and discovered the fine work of Jana, who has a Web site, Jana’s TG Manga And Anime Pages, and a blog, Jana's TG Manga and Anime Journal dedicated to trans content in Japanese comic books and cartoons.

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