Hothead Paisan

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Hothead Paisan
cover of Hothead Paisan #8
Publication date1991
Creative team
Created byDiane DiMassa

Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist is an alternative comic written and drawn by Diane DiMassa. It features the title character generally wreaking violent vengeance on male oppressors. Recurring characters include Hothead's cat Chicken, her wise mystical friend Roz, a talking lamp, and her trans lover Daphne (whose gender was never specified).[1][2]

The series began in 1991, published under the imprint Giant Ass Publishing, run by DiMassa's partner. The series and ran for 21 issues, which were collected and published as two volumes: Hothead Paisan and The Revenge of Hothead Paisan. These volumes were later combined and republished with a 10-page introduction to the main character as a 428-page trade paperback The Complete Hothead Paisan.[3]

According to Gabrielle Dean, the character of Hothead represents a "phallicized dyke" who is "at the mercy of her own rage against society, which she expresses by castrating men who are exaggerated stand-ins for the patriarchal order".[4]

In 2004, a version was staged as a musical, produced by Animal Prufrock at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival.[5] The cast included Ani DiFranco, Susan Powter, Ubaka Hill, Toshi Reagon, Julie Wolf, Kate Wolf, and Allyson Palmer of BETTY.[6]


  1. ^ "Fiction Book Review: The Revenge of Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist by Diane DiMassa, Author Cleis Press $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-57344-016-5". Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  2. ^ "Bring back Hothead Paisan, homicidal lesbian terrorist". DangerousMinds. 2014-06-09. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  3. ^ Dimassa, Diane (1999). The Complete Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist. San Francisco: Cleis Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-57344-084-4.
  4. ^ Dean, Gabrielle (1997). "The "Phallacies" of Dyke Comic Strips". In Foster, Thomas; Siegel, Carol; Berry, Ellen E. (eds.). The gay '90s : disciplinary and interdisciplinary formations in queer studies. New York, N.Y.: New York University Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-8147-2673-0.
  5. ^ Coble, Margaret (August 2004). "Hothead Paisan (the musical) will debut at the Michigan Women's Music Festival" (PDF). The Empty Closet. No. 371. p. B1. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  6. ^ Coble, Margaret (2004). "Lesbian News" (29). p. 38. Retrieved July 7, 2016 – via LGBT Life with Full Text, Ipswich, MA.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dimassa, Diane (1999). The Complete Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist. San Francisco, CA.: Cleis Press. ISBN 978-1-57344-084-4.
  • Frueh, Joanna and Laurie Fierstein. "Comments on the Comics, in Joanna Frueh; Laurie Fierstein; Judith Stein, eds. (2000). Picturing the Modern Amazon. New York: Rizzoli: New Museum Books. ISBN 978-0-8478-2247-8.
  • Heller, Dana A. (1993). "Hothead Paisan: Clearing a Space for Lesbian Feminist Folklore". New York Folklore. 19 (1–2): 27–44.
  • Queen, Robin M. "'I Don't Speak Spritch': Locating Lesbian Language," in Anna Livia; Kira Hall, eds. (1997). Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender and Sexuality. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-510470-7.
  • Scalettar, Liana. "Resistance, Representation and the Subject of Violence: Reading Hothead Paisan," in Joseph A. Boone; et al., eds. (2000). Queer Frontiers: Millennial Geographies, Genders, and Generations. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 261–277. ISBN 978-0-299-16090-6.
  • Warren, Roz, ed. (1995). Dyke Strippers: Lesbian Cartoonists A to Z. Pittsburgh, PA: Cleis Press. ISBN 978-1-57344-008-0.