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Academic/activist Barker (Rewriting the Rules) attempts to demystify the ideas that make up queer theory’s framework, accompanied by plenty of illustrative and humorous cartoons from Scheele (Metroland). Spanning from 19th-century sexology and Freud to modern queer theorists such as Julia Serano and Sara Ahmed, Barker analyzes the history of the word queer itself, examining the progressive and regressive aspects of theory’s most vital thinkers. Though Scheele’s portraits are somewhat lazily copied and pasted throughout the book (reminiscent of her zine work), her diagrams and visual aids are invaluable in understanding Barker’s more intricate explanations. Perhaps most importantly, Barker and Scheele make sure to emphasize that while queer theory has many problems with race, disability, and various hierarchies, the nature of queerness ensures that these issues can be changed. This hopeful and welcoming attitude should encourage readers to queer their own lives in whatever ways feel right.


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