This paper examines early strategies of picturing AIDS in comics at the height of the American crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s, alongside two more recent graphic novels and memoirs which engage with AIDS more indirectly: Charles Burns' Black Hole, and Frederik Peeters' Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story. These more recent reflections on HIV not only reflect the change in treatment through which HIV is no longer "a killer on the loose," as the AMFAR sponsored comic would have it, but a chronic, managed condition; it also filters a shift in representation in which the HIV carrier is not doomed or even defined by the virus.
Ariela Freedman is an Associate Professor at the Liberal Arts College, Concordia University, Montreal. She writes on modernism, First World War narrative, and comics. She is the author of Death, Men and Modernism (Routledge: 2003) and many scholarly articles, and is currently working on a project on comics and representations of pain.