Howl! Announces: Linda Simpson “My Comrade Magazine: Happy 35th Gay Anniversary”

Visual Arts
Saturday, June 4 – Sunday, July 17, 2022
Linda Simpson
My Comrade Magazine: Happy 35th Gay Anniversary



Howl! Happening is pleased to present a special exhibition of photographs from Linda Simpson’s groundbreaking magazine, My Comrade. Included are never-before-seen images and artifacts documenting a revolutionary and seminal period in gay history. In conjunction with the exhibit, a brand-new issue of My Comrade will be published, the first in 16 years. My Comrade magazine was founded by drag queen Linda Simpson in 1987 during the dark era of the AIDS crisis and served as a symbol of hope and frivolity to the East Village gay scene and beyond. Armed with a tongue-in-cheek “revolutionary” agenda, the magazine glorified heroic drag queens and sexy guys in a cut-and-paste mishmash of articles and photo spreads. Lesbians got their due when the flip side became Sister! The sporadic publishing schedule produced a total of eleven issues until 1994. It was revived in 2004 for two more.

The exhibit features reproductions and enlargements of My Comrade’s black-and-white pages. Notable contributors to the magazine included photographers Jack Pierson and David Armstrong, painter Stephen Tashjian a.k.a. Tabboo!, and drag stars RuPaul and Lady Bunny. The exhibit also features Simpson’s color photos of the era from her acclaimed 2021 photo book, The Drag Explosion, published by Domain.

The Drag Explosion by drag artist Linda Simpson is a first-hand account of a very creative and vital moment in queer life from the 1980s to the early ’90s, in which activism, nightlife, a D.Y.I. approach to drag, and pre-Giuliani New York culture crash into each other, creating a vibrant chapter in queer history. Mining her collection of snapshots from adventures with fellow drag queens, Club Kids, models, performance artists, and aspiring celebutantes, Simpson creates a wonderful and vivid chronicle of a bright time that has since passed.      -Peter Piatkowski,, March 2021

Since the 1980s, Linda has worked as a nightlife personality, writer and game-show host. Her photos of NYC’s drag scene of the 1980s and ‘90s have been featured in books, magazines, exhibits and documentaries, as well as her own touring slideshow. My Comrade’s importance as a piece of gay history was made apparent in 2021 when it was acquired by Harvard for its Houghton Library, which specializes in literary and performing arts archives.

About Howl! Arts
Howl! Arts Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the past and celebrating the contemporary culture of the East Village and Lower East Side. Based in New York City’s East Village, Howl! Arts curates exhibitions and produces events that invite active participation of the community to circulate ideas, generate discussion, and celebrate the fearless innovators who continue to influence new generations. The organization encompasses dynamic cultural spaces and community-centered programming.

Media Contact
For additional information, interview requests, and images of artwork, please contact:

Lourdes Miller
Blue Medium, Inc.
+1 (212) 675-1800