Do you remember Klinger from M*A*S*H? A drafted soldier trying to get out of the war by dressing in women’s clothing as evidence that he was mad.
When they do the inevitable remake, they are going to have to do a little rewriting on that one.
They might want to start by flicking through The Deserter’s Masquerade. Originally called Mauvais Genre, by award-winning French cartoonist Chloé Cruchaudet, Knockabout are translating it from the French into English, for publication later this year.
Set in the nineteen-tens, it continues the changing-genders-as-disguise trope as it involves one soldier’s attempt to get out of service, by dressing as a woman.
But then it goes further as the soldier and his wife deal with the concept of gender identity being a lot more than putting on a dress. And they struggle with concepts that, at the time, there really weren’t words for. A period piece told in hindsight.
Look for the English translation from Knockbout later this year.
Paul and Louise love each other, Paul and Louise get married, but World War I escalates and separates them. Paul, who wants at all costs to escape the hell of the trenches, becomes a deserter and finds Louise in Paris. He is safe but condemned to remain hidden in a hotel room. To put an end to his clandestine existence, Paul imagines a solution: to change his identity. Now he’ll be known as … Suzanne. Between gender confusion and the trauma of war, the couple will arrive at a very unusual destiny. Inspired by real facts, Deserter’s Masquerade is the amazing story of Louise and her transvestite husband who both loved and were torn apart in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties.
Full colour 160 pages paperback with flaps. 25 x 19 cm. ISBN 9780861662586 £16.99