ERIC Number: EJ1215491
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
"You Are My [Camp]fire": Tradition and Structure in Maggie Thrash's Graphic Memoir "Honor Girl"
Stamper, Christine N.
Children's Literature in Education, v50 n2 p110-124 Jun 2019
This essay argues that Maggie Thrash's "Honor Girl" navigates a multi-liminal space allowing it to participate in and expand upon traditions that already exist within children's literature, graphic memoirs, the comics medium, and the history of girl camps as homosocial spaces. By discussing graphic memoirists for adults (such as Alison Bechdel and Phoebe Gloeckner) and children (such as Raina Telgemeier and Cece Bell), the paper establishes that Thrash adopts practices of representing sexual desire from both traditions in order to establish new territory for adolescents. Turning then to camp environments, the essay examines how camp becomes a space for campers to experiment and come to be true versions of themselves, with the all-girls camping environment being particularly suited for young lesbians. Finally, this paper looks at how Thrash utilizes the medium of comics to draw Erin and Maggie together (both literally and figuratively), illuminating how this relationship, while certainly not subtextual, is also not presented as explicitly as heterosexual romance for a younger audience. By operating both within and outside traditions, "Honor Girl" allows for the possibility for queer content within memoirs for young people, while also raising an expectation that queer identities still must be shielded and coded.
Descriptors: Cartoons, Sexuality, Adolescents, Camps, Homosexuality, Novels, Adolescent Literature, Females
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A