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The Art of Drag

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Before RuPaul’s Drag Race propelled the cultural phenomenon into the global spotlight, drag had been around for thousands of years. Immerse yourself in the rich history of drag in this lusciously illustrated guide. The history of drag has been formed by many intersections: fashion, theatre, sexuality and politics—all coming together to create the show stopping entertainment Before RuPaul’s Drag Race propelled the cultural phenomenon into the global spotlight, drag had been around for thousands of years. Immerse yourself in the rich history of drag in this lusciously illustrated guide. The history of drag has been formed by many intersections: fashion, theatre, sexuality and politics—all coming together to create the show stopping entertainment millions witness today. In this extensive work, Jake Hall delves deep into the ancient beginnings of drag, to present day and beyond. Vibrant illustrations enhance the rich history from Kabuki theatre to Shakespearean, the revolutionary Stonewall riots to the still thriving New York ballroom scene. Nothing will go undocumented in this must-have documentation of all things drag.


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Before RuPaul’s Drag Race propelled the cultural phenomenon into the global spotlight, drag had been around for thousands of years. Immerse yourself in the rich history of drag in this lusciously illustrated guide. The history of drag has been formed by many intersections: fashion, theatre, sexuality and politics—all coming together to create the show stopping entertainment Before RuPaul’s Drag Race propelled the cultural phenomenon into the global spotlight, drag had been around for thousands of years. Immerse yourself in the rich history of drag in this lusciously illustrated guide. The history of drag has been formed by many intersections: fashion, theatre, sexuality and politics—all coming together to create the show stopping entertainment millions witness today. In this extensive work, Jake Hall delves deep into the ancient beginnings of drag, to present day and beyond. Vibrant illustrations enhance the rich history from Kabuki theatre to Shakespearean, the revolutionary Stonewall riots to the still thriving New York ballroom scene. Nothing will go undocumented in this must-have documentation of all things drag.

30 review for The Art of Drag

  1. 4 out of 5

    Fuat FiFi

    Gözler Huysuz Virjin’i aradı valla.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maia

    A beautifully designed, brightly colored coffee-table style book, informative and very pleasing to the eye! There's definitely a Western/American focus, but other traditions are included as well from Kabuki theater, Peking opera, the Kathakali dancers (of precolonial India), to Thailand's Miss Tiffany Universe competition and Thai Drag Race. Drag queens who have had particular culture impact, such as Divine, RuPaul and Lady Bunny, get features as does the involvement of drag queen in queer liber A beautifully designed, brightly colored coffee-table style book, informative and very pleasing to the eye! There's definitely a Western/American focus, but other traditions are included as well from Kabuki theater, Peking opera, the Kathakali dancers (of precolonial India), to Thailand's Miss Tiffany Universe competition and Thai Drag Race. Drag queens who have had particular culture impact, such as Divine, RuPaul and Lady Bunny, get features as does the involvement of drag queen in queer liberation movements.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kazen

    The Art of Drag is pure joy, written and illustrated by queer folx. It's a book for the community, by the community that left a smile plastered on my face. The good: - It's an inclusive and all-encompassing look at drag from its history to the future of the art form. I especially love that we get to see drag from many parts of the world, including Eastern traditions such as kabuki and Takarazuka from Japan. - Artists of color and those that fall outside the drag queen mold are highlighted, includin The Art of Drag is pure joy, written and illustrated by queer folx. It's a book for the community, by the community that left a smile plastered on my face. The good: - It's an inclusive and all-encompassing look at drag from its history to the future of the art form. I especially love that we get to see drag from many parts of the world, including Eastern traditions such as kabuki and Takarazuka from Japan. - Artists of color and those that fall outside the drag queen mold are highlighted, including drag kings as well as androgynous and genderqueer performers. - The art style on the front is the entire book - bright colors, impactful spreads. Each chapter is done by a single artist and while their styles differ the cohesive color palette means everything hangs together. - Theoretically it's a one sitting book, but if you're like me you'll end up down delightful YouTube rabbit holes, watching Marlene Dietrich in classic movie scenes and performances by Lypsinka. The not-good-for-me: - This falls into the realm of personal taste, but I didn't gel with one of the artists. The faces were so exaggerated I wondered if x person really looked like that. I learned so much and delighted in every part of Art of Drag. If you have any interest in drag or queer culture this is an easy recommend. If you'd like to hear gushing right after I read it check out my February Wrap Up Part 1 on YouTube. Thanks to Nobrow Books for providing an advance copy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I LOVED this! I found this in the bookshop I used to work in and the illustrations caught my eye. This is such a beautifully crafted book and would make a perfect gift and coffee table book. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful, it covers quite a diverse history of drag. It is mainly US-centric but it does talk about the history of drag in other countries. I particularly loved the section titled "the future of drag" which focused on a few drag kings and queens and how they are shaping drag I LOVED this! I found this in the bookshop I used to work in and the illustrations caught my eye. This is such a beautifully crafted book and would make a perfect gift and coffee table book. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful, it covers quite a diverse history of drag. It is mainly US-centric but it does talk about the history of drag in other countries. I particularly loved the section titled "the future of drag" which focused on a few drag kings and queens and how they are shaping drag and what they want to see in the future. It also has a brilliant bibliography for further viewing and reading which I also loved.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    beautiful illustrations :')

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hayley Dunning

    An uplifting celebration and beautiful history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    The Art of Drag is a semi-graphic novel written by Jake Hall and illustrated by the team of Sofie Birkin, Helen Li, and Jasjyot Singh Hans. This stylish coffee-table/conversation piece illuminates the history of drag from its ancient roots in mime and traditional theater to the present day. This graphic novel covers such subjects as the all-male casts of Shakespeare plays, Kabuki Theater and the Peking Opera, the Kathakali dancers of pre-colonial India, and the Köçek, and young male dancers of th The Art of Drag is a semi-graphic novel written by Jake Hall and illustrated by the team of Sofie Birkin, Helen Li, and Jasjyot Singh Hans. This stylish coffee-table/conversation piece illuminates the history of drag from its ancient roots in mime and traditional theater to the present day. This graphic novel covers such subjects as the all-male casts of Shakespeare plays, Kabuki Theater and the Peking Opera, the Kathakali dancers of pre-colonial India, and the Köçek, and young male dancers of the Ottoman Empire. The lineage of cross-dressing performers is traced from Vaudeville and Pantomime to Jazz Age nightclubs, silent film stars, and the Harlem Renaissance, and to the key roles queens played in the queer liberation movements of the 1960s–1970s, overlapping with the founding of ballroom culture. The impact of prominent celebrity queens on popular culture is also highlighted, including Divine, Lady Bunny, and RuPaul. The American drag scene is more thoroughly explored than the rest of the world, though there are sections on Thailand's version of Drag Race and the country's Miss Tiffany's Universe competition. The Art of Drag is written and constructed rather well. With inset text in full-page illustrations, the pages glow with brilliantly colorful illustrations, capturing all the queenly glamour – hot pinks and moody teals are contrasted with butter yellows and acid greens. Wigs have never looked taller, nor eye shadow so excessive, but capture the art of drag wonderfully. All in all, The Art of Drag is a wonderful and colorful history of the history and art of the drag.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This is one of many illustrated history nonfiction books I've read recently, chronicling the earliest forms of drag up until today. I appreciate that they didn't conflate drag with sexual orientation/gender, although it does go hand-in-hand with the LGBT movement.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carol Youssif

    This book's strength relies on the well researched information, and the fact that it's not USA-centric. I learned a lot more about cultures and other countries' drag scene and LGBTQIA issues. I loved this book and highly recommend it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mikey The High School Librarian

    Great book for people who want a 101 experience to Drag culture and it’s history. Lots of key words to dig deeper. I feel like this is a great starting point for anyone who loves Drag. The art is amazing!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy through Edelweiss.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ilona

    Omg yaaaaas

  13. 5 out of 5

    Krisha Mae

    I want to read this too

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    Very informative and fabulously colourful book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    THAMONWAN

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ดี

  16. 4 out of 5

    Verity W

    Really liked this. Lovely illustrated overview of the history of Drag with brilliant art from a group of authors. The colour palate remains consistent across the book but the art styles are different. I had my favourites but they all had a perspective and a sense of fun and vitality.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  19. 5 out of 5

    Reading_With_Cec

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melyana

  21. 4 out of 5

    Annie McHale

  22. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella

  24. 4 out of 5

    Caralen

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarrah

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Geske

  27. 4 out of 5

    Douvonté

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bekkii

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather Castle

  30. 4 out of 5

    maya

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