H is for Hothead Paisan


This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project (PBP). It’s the second one for the letter H. Once again, I’m posting late, so it will be a very short wait until the next post of the series. The illustrations are (not very good) photos of some pages from two books I own: Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist and The Revenge of Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist, both by Diane DiMassa.

As I was contemplating my spiritual path so far, I remembered that there had been spirituality even in the most mundane phase of my life, and that I had found it in a rather unlikely place: the Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist comic series by Diane DiMassa. If you have heard of it, you may have heard that Hothead does what others only fantasize about: chop off body male parts that have crossed female boundaries, blow up the tower of patriarchy, and generally get revenge for sexism, homophobia, and racism by (often rather amusing) acts of extreme violence.

Hothead Paisan meets God in the form of an oddly-shaped lamp

What they haven’t told you about is the other side of the coin: Hothead’s depressive episodes, her times of crushing self-doubt, and her occasional bone-deep loneliness and despair. It’s in one of those dark and scary moments that she goes off and meets God a Divine Being – in the form of a oddly-shaped lamp with a sense of humor.

Lampy (or rather, Donna Summer – since that is how Lampy is really called as we learn eventually) loves Hothead no matter what. Even when she’s just tortured and killed another bunch of rapists. Lampy also has spiritual advice for our fearsome warrior on her mission to bring justice to the world.

Hothead is given advice by Lampy (1)

Hothead is given advice by Lampy (2)

But there’s more. One day, Hothead can’t stand it any longer and decides she needs to escape and leave. The problem is, she has no idea where to go. But then she has an idea…

The reaction of Hothead’s cat Chicken to this idea is summed up in a drawing of Hothead that bears a striking resemblance to the Fool from the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot. With combat boots. And Chicken instead of the dog. (Click to enlarge.)

But let’s continue with the story. We’re skipping the part where Hothead arrives at the gay bar in whose back room the queer femme Sharquee does her thing, where Hothead flirts with Sharquee despite knowing that Sharquee’s big butch girlfriend is pretty jealous, and where they eventually sit down to do the reading. (Buy the book – as long as there are still some copies out there – if you want to read that part. There are also some back issues of the original comic to be had at the Hothead website.)

Well, let’s just say I should have gotten this reading many times in my life already… And I’m eternally grateful to Diane DiMassa for creating this series and for giving her main character this often overlooked depth and vulnerability together with her endless arsenal of lethal weapons – which makes her so much more lovable, relatable, and real. Not to mention the fact that it makes the series far more than just a boring fantasy of the “all violence, all the time” kind. I’m also grateful for all these references (there are more than the ones I showed you here) to non-mainstream spirituality that this thoroughly queer character and her friends encounter/embody because they made the whole topic so much more accessible and relatable for me. Plus: cat yoga. What’s not to love?


3 responses »

  1. “Cat’s corner of the web of weird”? I like that. Even more so when people learn something while they’re visiting.

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