Werneck, Daniel L. "Decoding Laerte. “Minotaur Handbook” and the Politics of Gender." In: International Journal of Comic Art 14.2 (2012), S. 58–76.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Werneck2012a
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Keywords: Brazil, Comic strip, Coutinho. Laerte, Gender
Collection: International Journal of Comic Art
|Attachments||URLs https://www.academ ... POLITICS_OF_GENDER|
With a career spanning over 40 years, most of them being published on a daily basis by one of the most important newspapers of Brazil, Laerte Coutinho is hailed as a genius by most of his fans. Possibly the most influential cartoonist working in Brazil right now, and hailed as the best cartoonist the country ever had, his work has gone through profound transformations in the recent years, leaving many hardcore fans confused and even alienating many of them.
Since 2009, Laerte has also started dressing up as a woman, a stance that caused much uproar in mainstream media. For some strange reason, being the most acclaimed cartoonist in Brazil isn’t enough reason to get you interviews in the main TV shows of the country, but wearing a skirt is. Laerte has been quite vocal about his preoccupations with gender issues in Brazilian society, which caused some fans to move away from his work, but mostly brought a new wave of readers who didn’t know his work very well before.
As part of this process, the artists has launched a website in 2008 where his daily newspaper strips would be featured, for free, in substitution of another pirate website that already posted his daily work through the anonymous work of some fans who scanned and streamed the strips every day. Eventually, Laerte turned the blog, that was supposed to carry only a few strips, into his official website, where he talks almost daily with his fans.
The present article offers an introductory view in this website, capturing a moment of Laerte’s career that came just before he became a full-fledged crossdresser, exploring the ways in which the artist used his own comics to get in touch with this facet of his own psyche, channeling repressed instincts into a character, and later exploring other aspects of transgenderism and autobiography in subsequent strips.
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