cover image The Revenge of Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist

The Revenge of Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist

Diane DiMassa. Cleis Press, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-57344-016-5

By turns shocking, hilarious, introspective and wrenching, this second compilation of DiMassa's quarterly comic never fails to amaze. Everybody's favorite knife-wielding lesbian is back to avenge her sisters with hair-trigger glee, overdosing on coffee and societal hypocrisy while she hangs out with old friends (resident feline nurturer, Chicken, or Zen-mother Roz) and bounces off new ones. DiMassa's panoptic wit is still needle-sharp and merciless, and her graphic technique continues to evolve: without losing the frenetic looseness of her earlier style, this work features a new, delightful deftness of line. The 30 pages of new art that open this volume prime the Hothead neophyte and provide wickedly nostalgic moments for the devotee before leaning through the contemplative, spiritual window that's the flip side of Hothead's frenzy. Justice never comes without high cost in Hothead's world; her wrath isn't absorbed by a convenient vacuum. Though the unapologetic ferocity is still here in force-the visceral, disturbingly cathartic venting of righteous fury-so is the violence that engendered it. This book presents the struggle against despair, the dilemma of transcendence, and the puckish wisdom of cats. It's full of painfully earned riches for anyone, female or male, gay or straight, who's brave enough to partake. (Dec.)