Novelist, comic book writer, and also comic book reviewer for www.BrokenFrontier.com, also website marketing coach for the Online Marketing Solutions company Push Traffic dot com. Incidentally, I am also the worst writer in the world.
So here was a Donna Barr book I wasn't aware of until I decided to be all completest about her gluttonous, corpulent body of work. Published through Antarctic Press' adult line, Venus Comics, it's a compilation of the pin-ups and shorts that Barr doodled out over the course of coarse time, hinging on a rather interesting (if graphic) idea: what if everyone was an hermaphrodite? What if all humans were both genders at once, so that there was never any distinction? What would the new preconceptions be? The new biases and cultural divides? And what of our own cultures would be lost having never arisen in the first place?
BARR GIRLS is fancy free and graphic, in love with sexuality and in love with love in general. While there is some drop-dead accurate social criticism in these stories, mostly by what the stories leave out rather than what they contain, the lack of certain beliefs and day-to-day gender views that logically are the bathwater to the baby that gets overhand-fastballed out the window when men and women become one and the same, and so are proven cosmetic, views and beliefs that do not stand up to even this slightest of shifts in reality, and in this way spotlighted as dependent upon circumstance (wow this is turning into a long, digressive sentence, sorry, and this isn't helping, sorry again), the core of BARR GIRLS is not necessarily message-centric, or preachy, and while perhaps it is a little slap-in-the-face insofar as its outrageous subject matter in concerned, the spirit of its audacity comes across as the passion of innocence unfettered (why would I hold back? the child asks) instead of the shock value of arrogance unleashed (what's gonna make me hold back? the bastard sneers).
The book starts gentle, mostly observing the "girls" (who are referred to as girls but almost always pronoun-ed as "he" and "him"), heading to work, inviting guests over, exploring what the unavoidable assumptions of the human mind would be like in a world where gender was simply parceled out differently. Then comes the crowning, most lengthy episode of the issue, and the sex-stuff gets explicit and wild. Not for the easily offended, and not at all for anyone who thinks they already have the answers to human sexuality and gender place and position. Closed-minded asininnies need not apply.
The pin-ups are the most blink-inducing parts of the book. Mostly involving Barr dressing her girls in the looniest outfits and exploring the, uhm, anatomies of male-female adonis-amaranths. It's all jolly good fun, and you walk away feeling damn good about genitals, of either sex, which is refreshing.
This one's a tough nut to find, but right now there's copy available over at or anyway their online eBay store (which is where I purchased my copy, and they still have at least one more!) Head on over there by clicking HERE