The Ring of Fire Anthology
by Et Russian
The Ring of Fire Anthology is a collection of the zine from the late 1990s by ET Russian (aka Hellery Homosex), and features new material never before published. Ring of Fire is honest, engaging, and ahead of its time.
This zine is so f-ing cool. ET was 18 when she wrote this zine, and had just lost both of her legs below the knee while trainhopping. This zine is all about how her life has changed since she became an amputee. It's also about being queer and celebrating her sexuality, despite the loss of her legs. Hellery decided that she wouldn't let her accident change her life, and that includes her sex life, so she sets out to become the sexiest amputee ever! Super positive and empowering for anyone who's been crippled, or dealt with long-term health issues.
In Hellery's 3rd zine she's 21, and has had a couple of years of perspective since getting both of her legs amputated below the knee. She reflects on how she doesn't have to talk about being disabled as much anymore, except with strangers who always have to ask. She talks about class and disability, about how sometimes people who are crippled "raise above" their injuries and achieve heroic things/become celebrities, but that most people don't. That without money, it's much harder than the public perceives to survive. She also talks about the fluidity of her gender, and how sometimes she is a boy. Hellery talks about dressing up in drag, riding her bike with prosthetics on, and addresses all the people who tell her she's brave just for having prosthetics.
Through black and white ink drawings, comics, linoleum block print portraits, essays, interviews and erotica, this collection explores the intersections of art, bodies, healthcare, ability, gender, race, community, class, healing and the politics of work.
Alternately emotional and erotic, funny and political, Ring of Fire tells the author's personal story, and captures the work and words of various artists and leaders from disability culture and history. A young activist steeped in the cultures of queer and punk, Russian embraced a cultural identity of disability while writing Ring of Fire. Years later, Russian examines what it means to work in healthcare in the United States.
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