We Heart: The Conniving and Sinister Comic Strip

It’s tough to find feminist discourse in the cartoon world. But one blogger is injecting smart politics into humor, one Photoshop-drawn comic strip at a time.

Conniving and Sinister is “The true-life adventures of feminist Liss and her homo friend Deeky,” according to the site. Cartoonist and Shakesville blogger Melissa McEwan has been neatly skewering mainstream culture and the kyriarchy since August 2009.

McEwan said she started Conniving and Sinister originally as a one-off joke on the syndicated comic strip Frank and Ernest. She wrote in an email:

It’s a commentary on privilege and marginalization.  And what we view as the Norm, or the default human–male, white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, etc.  And how the commentary from people viewed as default humans is considered to be implicitly more objective (more “frank and earnest”) than the commentary from marginalized people, which is considered to be inherently compromised by their marginalization.

The strip identifies Liss and Deeky by monikers like “fat lady” and “gay dude” to subvert those very labels. McEwan said:

Using them as opposed to our actual names is a commentary on how the world views us, that is, by our characteristics rather than as individuals, not an attempt to turn ourselves into avatars for every fat lady or biracial gay man in the world.

McEwan said of her artistic process:

Despite the (deliberately) terrible renderings, they can actually take quite awhile to draw, and some finesse to make them look crappy and cool at the same time, lol.

You can read Conniving and Sinister here, and Melissa McEwan’s blog Shakesville here.

All images used with permission.



Budding journalist hailing from Montana. l like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and arguing about women and gender issues.