Dee CeaFollow

Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2024

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author's Department

Graduate School of Art

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Illustration & Visual Culture

Degree Type



The queer monster has been a staple in fiction for ages. The “other” aspect that defines monstrosity is naturally paired with the ostracized queer figure. How better to accent a demon, than with the demonized? This essay explores why queerness clings to the monstrous, and how this dynamic has shifted over time. When does monstrosity feed into queerness, and when does queerness enhance the monstrous? Using the character Mystique from the long-standing X-Men franchise as a case study, I compare how her strange appearance and abilities have villainized her queer subtext, and yet how they have come to strengthen her identity as a queer woman. Furthermore, this essay takes a peak at how monstrosity has been reappropriated in the digital self-publishing age to celebrate queer power and speculate on future incarnations of monstrous queerness in comics visual culture.