How Loathsome
The new series by the artist of Gloom Cookie and Courtney Crumrin! Do the town with gender outlaw Catherine Gore and her disreputable friends. It's Friday night and Catherine is dragged to an S&M play party to see what passes for sex these days. There, the beautiful, enigmatic fem fatale Chloe takes Catherine by surprise. Chloe is a girl with a secret. Catherine is intrigued, and the two form a tight bond. But is it love, or desperate obsession? Part Queer as Folk, part Trainspotting, this deeply personal, sexually bizarre, drug-addled adventure is a gothic exploration of the not-so obvious nature of gender. Collects the 4 issue mini-series.

How Loathsome Details

TitleHow Loathsome
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 1st, 2004
PublisherNantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing
ISBN-139781561633869
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, LGBT, Fiction, GLBT, Queer

How Loathsome Review

  • Alexis Hall
    January 1, 1970
    Brought to you courtesy of Reading Project 2015.I dithered about putting this on the mild indifference shelf or not. It resonates with me and doesn't at the same time. Is at once meaningful and frustrating.This is a graphic novel that actually belongs to me. Whoop.It's a series of interlinked stories about ennui and alienation what seems to be -- from the perspective of someone who has never been to San Francisco -- the San Francisco queer underground. But it's a scene that, to me at least, tran Brought to you courtesy of Reading Project 2015.I dithered about putting this on the mild indifference shelf or not. It resonates with me and doesn't at the same time. Is at once meaningful and frustrating.This is a graphic novel that actually belongs to me. Whoop.It's a series of interlinked stories about ennui and alienation what seems to be -- from the perspective of someone who has never been to San Francisco -- the San Francisco queer underground. But it's a scene that, to me at least, transcends geography.On the other hand, I'm kind of wearied by ennui and there's only so much alienation a queer can take, y'know?I mean yes: people take drugs, blurred gender boundaries are a thing, all these things intersect with various other things, other alternative subcultures and the sex industry. And then there are are the rich and the bored and the lost who treat all this like an adventure playground. This isn't exactly what you'd call cutting edge stuff. But it's all presented with a faint undertone of ZOMG. When it feels authentic, it seems almost by accident - yet there are moments when it really it does. People and scenes I recognise. Thoughts I have thought. And the rest of the time it edges onto fetishisation.Gah. I dunno.Complicated. Not terrible. Not awesome.
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  • Peter
    January 1, 1970
    How Loathsome is... a graphic novel variation on Jesus' Son if the main character had been Trans-gendered. Several short stories culminate in a deflated climax where no characters change. The simply become more resolute in destroying them selves (I don't care what you do in the bed room or what gender you call yourself... more power to you. But cocaine and heroine are still cocaine and heroine: not the answer just a problem). I'm not sure if the book is trying to link the two practices together How Loathsome is... a graphic novel variation on Jesus' Son if the main character had been Trans-gendered. Several short stories culminate in a deflated climax where no characters change. The simply become more resolute in destroying them selves (I don't care what you do in the bed room or what gender you call yourself... more power to you. But cocaine and heroine are still cocaine and heroine: not the answer just a problem). I'm not sure if the book is trying to link the two practices together or not, but had the narrative focused on the love story at the beginning of the book this would have been GREAT! And these are great stories, fantastic characters, and unbelievable art work. All I'm asking for is a character arc. But by the end of this the characters are exactly where they were at in the beginning. And you could say that was the point, but that point is so much more interesting from the point of view of one character who has changed looking back at the others. Then the lack of change has a point of comparison and therefor content. I would also like to point out that making fun of pretentious goth kids who speak in a Victorian vernacular is still funny.
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  • lesleymac
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to like this so much more than I did. I can't blame this book for the fact that there's not really a market for books with relatively normal transfolks. But one more book saying trans = decadent, shocking, dirty..? It seems to perpetuate a lot of stereotypes...
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  • Adrienne
    January 1, 1970
    I read this in an hour while sitting on my friend's couch immediately before our book group meeting, and that was a while ago - not to mention the day after a big long kung fu test, so I was, overall, pretty exhausted as well. Grain of salt?I wasn't a big fan of the graphic novel, but I didn't hate it either. The story revolves around a disjointed group of gender-queer people in San Francisco, who attend S/M parties, do lots of drugs and drink lots of alcohol, and sleep around. That is to say: i I read this in an hour while sitting on my friend's couch immediately before our book group meeting, and that was a while ago - not to mention the day after a big long kung fu test, so I was, overall, pretty exhausted as well. Grain of salt?I wasn't a big fan of the graphic novel, but I didn't hate it either. The story revolves around a disjointed group of gender-queer people in San Francisco, who attend S/M parties, do lots of drugs and drink lots of alcohol, and sleep around. That is to say: it was a very different perspective on life than I get. It was interesting to examine our impressions of characters' genders, especially because those are influenced by the graphic that goes along with the novel and because the characters are not always what they seem at first glance. Our conversation consisted of things you don't typically hear ("Look -- right there. That's a penis. Ask the straight girls, they'll tell you.") in general conversation.Anyway, I got this sense that the novel was trying to be so meaningful with the characters' ennui. Deep sigh. I'm sick of ennui.There were also random unrelated black and white parts interspersed with the general, sepia-toned story. I wasn't too sure what was going on with those (but see above, re: tired and reading fast).Overall, I would venture a guess that it did a good job at capturing its specific subculture of people, but having very little direct experience with the S/M + drug culture, I can't really say for sure.
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  • CuntyLicious
    January 1, 1970
    If i had to pick one gothic graphic novel to be the one & only Book to read, i'd pick How Loathsome without hesitation. The Gothic Culture is enriched by it ample diversity & inclusiveness of minorities within Minorities. People of Color & queer folks. folks we never get see them or knows about them due to popular, pasty, exceptions of what passes for a goth.It makes sense how the general idea of goths are moody, white suburban youth who applies eyeliner & hate their parents is & If i had to pick one gothic graphic novel to be the one & only Book to read, i'd pick How Loathsome without hesitation. The Gothic Culture is enriched by it ample diversity & inclusiveness of minorities within Minorities. People of Color & queer folks. folks we never get see them or knows about them due to popular, pasty, exceptions of what passes for a goth.It makes sense how the general idea of goths are moody, white suburban youth who applies eyeliner & hate their parents is & still, the norm in the pop culture mentality.*Yes, i stole this line from the Bitchy Miss Boy George, who successfully, dragged Marc Almond face down back & fro on the floor, when she was asked about the latter side musical project: the Gothic cabaret assembly , Marc & The Mambas*Which is partly true. if you're the kind whose only experience with interacting with the culture is through the recorded cackle of Vanilla missionary ,puny minded, white bleached american tv shows or your Sunday lecture, or worse, mid 00's Vampire freaks.com. Televangelism & heteronormativity bashing aside.The graphic novel illustrate the closest look of a real Nigh life of your average goth in LA back in the far gone & mostly treasured 90's; by those who were born half decade later and claim that *we* missed most of the fun; if we'e not the bane of their existence. *Old bat tendencies dies hard*.The cast are a colourful lot of queers, blacks, and white Europeans. drug & sex addicts, capricious Divas & clique mentality club goers hungry for attention of their queens & kings who work part time at your average & plain, white shirt & blue jeans sewing room shops.*a shrilled gasp of bewilderment & disgust*how's your fluorescent pink skull coloured nostalgic shades? blurry or shattered? *stifle a laugh*Yes. it shows the glamorous side & the underbelly of the beast of the culture & its lurkers.No melodramatic, suicidal poetry, no demons to haunts you, other than your mind inner voices & bad drug trips hallucinations & the bitter after taste of aimlessness & disappointment.and yet. that what makes the story so poignant & meaningful. The aimlessness & disappointment;and the aftermath.It's not a happy read, it's not a bubbly, filtered, kidy friendly trip to the dark side of cool. it's is a stark, realistic, portrait of being a stranger among strangers in an uncaring world. both hideous & sublime.
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  • Edward Nichols
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely in my top 5 graphic novels now. Loved it. Refreshingly honest and articulate which is especially commendable when dealing with the tricky subject of gender identity. Loved the illustrations as well.
  • Ladyiconoclast
    January 1, 1970
    This book reminds me what comics are for. This story, in this medium, is perfect and beautiful. If you've ever been queer, gender non-conforming, kinky and/or on drugs in San Francisco, you will see parts of your experience in this story.
  • Devowasright
    January 1, 1970
    one of the most perfectly written graphic novels i've ever read.
  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    This graphic novel was a little too "adult" for me and lacked a bit in the plot line. The graphics were fantastic though and I did enjoy it a bit.
  • David Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    This graphic novel is about equal parts drugs and gender fluidity. There were a few characters that kept me guessing if they were dudes or ladies, until I realized that most of them were either both or neither. Not much plot to speak of but not boring.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    This is genderfuck at it’s most blunt and in-your-face. Originally published as four separate comics, this collection brings together Catherine’s adventures all over the Bay Area from parties full of goth wannabes to acid trips into the desert to a multi-gender drag show. Catherine never uses the word bisexual, in fact you get the feeling she would puke on the idea of using any labels, however she certainly shows strong sexual interest in people of many different genders. Read the rest of my rev This is genderfuck at it’s most blunt and in-your-face. Originally published as four separate comics, this collection brings together Catherine’s adventures all over the Bay Area from parties full of goth wannabes to acid trips into the desert to a multi-gender drag show. Catherine never uses the word bisexual, in fact you get the feeling she would puke on the idea of using any labels, however she certainly shows strong sexual interest in people of many different genders. Read the rest of my review at bisexual-books.tumblr.com
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  • johnny dangerously
    January 1, 1970
    A baffling and shallow piece on 'edgy' sexual counterculture. I bought it because I love Naifeh's art, but the writing is putrid, and, yeah, loathsome. The characters are caricatures going through pointless plots that only exist to show their content-- pseudo incest, strap-ons, and a trans woman talking to herself in the mirror (how original!). I nabbed this on a deal years back because I loved the Courtney Crumrin books and wanted to see how Naifeh's art deal with more adult subjects, but I cou A baffling and shallow piece on 'edgy' sexual counterculture. I bought it because I love Naifeh's art, but the writing is putrid, and, yeah, loathsome. The characters are caricatures going through pointless plots that only exist to show their content-- pseudo incest, strap-ons, and a trans woman talking to herself in the mirror (how original!). I nabbed this on a deal years back because I loved the Courtney Crumrin books and wanted to see how Naifeh's art deal with more adult subjects, but I couldn't get past how bad the writing was. If you must buy it, focus on the graphics; the writing is only memorable for its equal potential to bore and enrage.
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  • Lilah
    January 1, 1970
    Peels back a layer of the various goth/queer/fetish subcultures in San Francisco, a wander through different lives anchored by an internal monologue rather than a set story - the observations ring true, but more out of familiarity rather than anything truly groundbreaking. If you've read Danielle Willis, you've been here before - this time, with artwork, which is grim and lovely and perfectly suited to the narrative. It's far too rare that when seedy underworlds get visuals, the people stay real Peels back a layer of the various goth/queer/fetish subcultures in San Francisco, a wander through different lives anchored by an internal monologue rather than a set story - the observations ring true, but more out of familiarity rather than anything truly groundbreaking. If you've read Danielle Willis, you've been here before - this time, with artwork, which is grim and lovely and perfectly suited to the narrative. It's far too rare that when seedy underworlds get visuals, the people stay real - the characters here were more human than stereotype which I really appreciate.
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  • Anthony
    January 1, 1970
    My library is kinda weird when it comes to GNs. Take this book about transgendered druggies living in modern America. Not exactly a book for the masses. However, it's extremely well written and it rises above it's fashionably deviant pitch. There are echoes in this narrative. Echoes of loneliness in Laramie. Echoes of late nights at Club Retro. And the chick-dude who looks like Neil Gaiman reminds me of both Criag and Georgette. As if they were merged into a perfect creature.And since I never sa My library is kinda weird when it comes to GNs. Take this book about transgendered druggies living in modern America. Not exactly a book for the masses. However, it's extremely well written and it rises above it's fashionably deviant pitch. There are echoes in this narrative. Echoes of loneliness in Laramie. Echoes of late nights at Club Retro. And the chick-dude who looks like Neil Gaiman reminds me of both Criag and Georgette. As if they were merged into a perfect creature.And since I never saw her-his penis, the perfection remains. Just like criag.
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  • Robert
    January 1, 1970
    I really should have read this transgender-themed graphic novel a long time ago. Like Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, it's simply a Must Read for students and fans of GLBT comics. The art by Ted Naifeh is fabulous and Tristan Crane's damaged but undaunted characters are beautifully realized, haunted and haunting. An excellent book all around, virtually begging for future rereads.
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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    I know Tristan, so I am obviously biased, but that doesn't change the fact that this is an amazing gorgeous slice of San Francisco life. Reading it feels exactly like cruising SF drag bars and goth clubs on drugs; you can smell the piss and smoke and puke and the BO of the weird sweaty B&T wannabes. Captures the feel of a world with stirring precision.Completely absolutely effing mind-blowing in concept and execution.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    This was an excellent book. The artwork was masterfully done, and I wish that I had more time to spend with each of the characters. There were some over the top moments, and I wasn't as interested in the drug scene, but the work certainly met my expectations. I thought it did a great job exploring social identity, gender issues, and sexuality.
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  • Marcus K
    January 1, 1970
    Surprisingly good tale of genderqueer junkies running amok in San Francisco. The author uses a lot of actual photographs as backgrounds for the artwork, giving it all a much more true to life feel. Not high fiction or anything, but still a fun (not to mention sexy) read. And they have it at the Oakland library. What more could you ask for?
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  • Edward
    January 1, 1970
    An honest look at a underrepresented group with great art. I especially enjoyed the comics within the comic written by the main character. Definitely for mature audiences only and going in the library's regular collection instead of the teen area.
  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to enjoy a story about a dyke who is into a trans woman, but her perspective on that attraction is uncomfortably fetishizing. When she's rebuffed, she decides to out woman. Five stars for the subject matters and a turkey for the way they were handled.
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  • Jane Pierce
    January 1, 1970
    I liked it. I probably wouldn't be for everyone I know - not a "fun" read. But well done. Focuses on a group not always well represented - usually to little or too sensationalized. But this was, as far as I know, more true to life.
  • ONTD Feminism
    January 1, 1970
    Lj user owl_eyes_4ever says, "The graphic novel How Loathsome focuses primarily on two trans women. I haven't read this since, like... high school, so again I can't recall all the details but it really stuck with me."
  • Story
    January 1, 1970
    I am blown away by the tenderness of these portrayals. These are the queer folk I know, move among. These are the humans I have loved. These vignettes offer no judgement; just a series of significant moments. I found it powerful.
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    I read How Loathsome before I really had a good vocabulary for the boundaries of gender that it explores. As a result, I didn't really know what to say about it then - or now.
  • Naomi Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    Not my usual read, and a little too real-life-dark for me, but I do think this book was very important, and I think it's good that it exists.
  • A.F. Henley
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it. The switch from life to fantasy was a cool concept and the characters were brilliant.
  • Val
    January 1, 1970
    A new friend passed this off to me at a party and I sat in the corner and read it like the nerd that I am. It was so glorious though! I especially like the monk story.
  • Cyn Coons
    January 1, 1970
    This really struck a chord with me, and my time in goth clubs where sexuality was pretty fluid, and the most you could hope for was finding someone who was as filled with misanthropy as you were.
  • Holly Interlandi
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely pushes boundaries, but strangely vapid otherwise.
  • Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    I love the blurred gender lines in this graphic novel. I love that sex and drugs are a casual, every day occurence. I love that transgender issues have a place here. I love it!
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