By Reuters Staff. Midtown Comics delayed the opening of its downtown store for the wedding of Scott Everhart, a healthcare site manager from Columbus, Ohio, and year-old architect Jason Welker. The real-life nuptials, complete with a band, balloons and decorations, coincided with the comic-book union of Jean-Paul Beaubier, aka Northstar, who can move and fly at superhuman speed, and his long-term partner, Kyle, in the series Astonishing X-Men The comic-book characters have been a couple since The real and comic-book marriages mark the one-year anniversary of the legalization of gay marriage in New York.
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Because homosexuality was itself an underground culture for centuries and still is, to a significant extent , gay and lesbian artists have often gravitated to the avant-garde, especially in cinema, where the likes of the Kuchar brothers, Jack Smith, and Kenneth Anger fused their aesthetic with their sexuality. The comics world was slower to open up to gay self-expression, but given how aggressively the first wave of underground cartoonists were busting taboos about sex and drugs, it was only a matter of time before gay artists took advantage of the freedom of the art form, and of the scene. Then the book gets to the comics themselves, emphasizing shorter pieces arranged in a rough chronology that begins in the era when homosexuals feared criminal prosecution, proceeds through periods of political activism and AIDS, and brings readers up to a more tolerant present-day. For young people drawn to the LGBTQ community, these comics have been and continue to be like a handbook, helping to foster a sense of belonging while bringing newcomers up to speed. They serve much the same function for straight readers, introducing a world with its own codes—not just socially, but artistically. Evens has his fundamental cartooning skills down.
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