Drawing on three contemporary comics—The Movement, Jughead, and Sex Criminals—this essay explores the challenges that visual media face when trying to illustrate the “invisible orientation” of asexuality. More specifically, the author examines how sex-normative assumptions pervade contemporary conversations about identity categories and argues that the ubiquity of these assumptions makes it difficult to depict asexuality as anything more than a disorder or a lack. In making this argument, the author raises the critical question of how asexual representation of comics characters might both expand and erase queer representation by introducing new paradigms that challenge sex-normative assumptions. Ultimately, the author acknowledges that, while asexuality can be positioned within existing queer/LGBT narratives, such work may risk displacing other forms of queer identities with a flattened portrait of asexual (or ace) identities.


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pp. 354-376
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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