This Swedish comic zine tells the stories of cowgirls in a wild west setting sans biological men, meaning that the characters are either “queer, lesbian, or cowgirls”. The zine comics are created by Karolina Bang who explores topics such as queerness, sexuality, gender roles, and erotics in her zines. In her comics, she challenges gender roles in a western world where there’s lots of dancing, banjo playing, freight trains, and a kind of utopian air about the place. She also confronts the world’s bigotry and bias of today’s physical world such. (i.e. women are supposed to look like this, or men are supposed to be in this position). Imagine a world where there are no cowboys. What’s erotic is not some hunky man on a horse riding off into the distance, instead it’s a women (queer, lesbian, other another gender identity) watching the western sunset sitting atop of horse with a lasso.
I found these comics really interesting because Bang take the iconic western image of cowboys in the wild west and replaces the cowboys with cowgirls. But not just the stereotypical sexy, passive cowgirl, but a cowgirl who knows how to shoot a gun, rob a bank, have rough sex, and doesn’t need a man to rescue her. She does the rescuing. She’s the active character. No more Jesse James, it’s Jessie James who plays the banjo, rides the freight trains, and robs the banks. (Though, I’m not sure if there’s bank robbing in these comics. They’re in Swedish and I couldn’t find them online…I think you have to buy them). The comics are full of sex, lust, and desire between women.
I also think that this zine is interesting because it’s a Swedish woman’s perception of the “wild west” with a flavored twist not just for creativity, but also to illustrate (literally) her activism. Here’s a link to her blog.