(MIAMI)– On Thursday, June 22, PEN America’s South Florida/Miami Chapter and the Artists at Risk Connection will celebrate Pride month with a screening of the film No Straight Lines: The Past, Present and Future of Queer Comics which chronicles the lives of five influential queer comic book artists.

The screening will be followed by a talkback moderated by acclaimed film critic and arts programmer Juan Barquin, featuring the film’s director Vivian Kleiman and comic book creator and musician Cristy C. Road. The screening is being hosted in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, at O Cinema in Miami Beach, Florida (1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) on June 22nd at 7 p.m. ET.

Tickets can be purchased at O Cinema’s website here.

With queer comic book writers and artists around the United States—and Florida in particular—facing increased censorious threats it has become more urgent than ever to celebrate queer storytellers Kleinman said: “We’re in an LGBT State of Emergency, and once again, we need to come together and fight the hate. No Straight Lines is a powerful tool to show the power of self-representation and defend against efforts to make us invisible again.”

She added: “No Straight Lines is the story of a DIY art form—often considered junk food for kids—that over the past 50 years has been used by queer artists as a powerful medium to represent our lives. More than a chronology of milestone events, I wanted to create an intergenerational story of our emergence from rejection to acceptance and help LGBT youth feel safe. Today, as LGBT visibility and rights are once again under fire, I hope this film will be an antidote to hate and will inspire a new generation to fight back and demand equality for all.”


Juan Barquin, a film critic in South Florida contributes to Reverse Shot, AV Club, Hyperallergic, Indiewire, and Little White Lies, among others, as well as Miami New Times and Miami Herald. They co-created and programmed the award-winning film series, Flaming Classics, which paired canonical cinema with curated drag performances. Their short films have screened at the Miami Film Festival, Wicked Queer, Outshine).

Vivian Kleiman is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and a Fleishhacker Eureka Fellowship artist. Her film NoStraight Lines premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and received the Grand Jury Award from LA’s OutFest. From Executive Producer of the Academy Award-nominated Last Day of Freedom, to story editor for the Showtime series Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, her work is known for tackling challenging subjects and filmic approaches.

Christy C. Road is a Cuban-American artist, writer, and musician who’s been creating work for punk rock, publishing, and social justice movements since she was a teenager in Miami. In the 1990’s, Road self-published Green’zine for ten years, and has since released three illustrated novels about gender, sexuality, mental health and cultural identity: Indestructible (2005), Bad Habits (2008), Spit and Passion (2013), and her latest project, The Next World Tarot, a Tarot deck dedicated to revolutionary love and resistance.

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org. 

About PEN Across America

The PEN Across America initiative provides resources to mobilize PEN America communities nationwide to carry forward our mission to defend and celebrate free expression. Chapters in Austin, Birmingham, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, the Piedmont Region of North Carolina, Tulsa, and elsewhere are organizing public forums to debate critical issues, hosting writers for literary conversations, conducting advocacy campaigns, offering workshops on media literacy, storytelling, and citizen journalism, and much more.

About Artist at Risk

PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) safeguards the right to artistic freedom of expression and ensures that artists and cultural professionals everywhere can live and work without fear. Their ultimate goal is to address the needs of artists at risk and the organizations that serve them.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-47-5057