Comics

front cover image of Pregnant Butch

© 2014 A.K. Summers

  • Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag
  • Author/Artist: A.K. Summers
  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (March 18, 2014)
  • ISBN: 978-1593765408

First pregnancy is a fraught, uncomfortable experience for any woman, but for resolutely butch lesbian Teek Thomasson, it is especially unnerving. As a masculine woman in a world where pregnancy and femininity go together like Barbie and pink, Teek wonders, “Can butches even get pregnant?” Well, yeah, they can.

Soon Teek and her no-nonsense femme girlfriend Vee are navigating the shoals of a very non-traditional pregnancy, from their DIY home insemination to important fashion questions such as, Do suspenders count as legitimate maternity wear? As the pregnancy progresses, tensions mount between Teek and Vee, as Teek approaches pregnancy as a “test” of her fitness to be a parent, while Vee views it as merely the way to make a baby. But clashes between them pale beside those within Teek herself, as ultra-feminine societal expectations combine with Teek’s own bodily transformation to threaten the foundations of her identity. Along the way, Teek “comes out” as pregnant to her barber, asks, “What’s so artificial about artificial insemination?”, interrogates butchness in the age of the trans-man, and survives a birth education class modeled on clown school.

Written and illustrated by A.K. Summers, and based on her own pregnancy, Pregnant Butch is a funny, insightful, and intensely personal look at the indignities of pregnancy and discomforts of gender. Part adventure story, part riotous critique, this thoughtfully rendered, occasionally surreal, resolutely heterodox tale turns the traditional “what to expect when you’re expecting” narrative on its head.

“Graphic memoirist A.K. Summers’s Pregnant Butch (Soft Skull) is straight-up hilarious.” —Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair, April 2014

“…as direct as its title: a drily whimsical, whipsmart, culturally resonant tale.” —The Comics Journal, April 2014

“A.K. Summers’ Pregnant Butch is a Tintin lookalike who embarks down the path to motherhood. If you made it through that sentence without your head spinning, then you’re ready for one of the weirdest, wonderful-est pregnancy memoirs out there. Employing a variety of art style, Summers has crafted a wry, wise tale that guarantees a chuckle on every page. Pregnant Butch is an unsentimental, no-holds-barred book filled with insight and genuine feeling. (And you know you want to see Tintin pregnant!)” —Josh Neufeld, author of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge

“Poignant and accomplished, A.K. Summers’ Pregnant Butch is also fascinating. Revealing what it was like to be butch and pregnant, she questions how we inhabit roles that get at the core of our sense of self—and how we make them our own even when they are freighted with convention. Furthermore, Summers’s deft artwork has great appeal: her line is a charming cross between Hergé and the Hernandez brothers.” —Hillary Chute, author of Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics

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