Strange Glances is a book that contains a collection of illustrated quotes from musicians, artists, and activists who have been touched by punk rock music in some type of way…and have garnered looks of curiosity, dismissal, or ridicule within and without their own scenes because of it.
Some have turned bemused looks into a tool for whimsy, and some have found in them a chance to laugh. Some have advice, and some just beam with security in their path. Some have been treated, perhaps, as second class citizens. Individuals can be easily beguiled into thinking that they shouldn’t believe that they are singled out on account of race in underground scenes, but seeing some of these brief assessments laid out in tandem may disavow some of that sentiment. Many have had to affirm to themselves and others that they actually do belong in this sometimes wild, strange & colorful, and sometimes dull, depressing & bleak corner of music.
I got the idea for Strange Glances while doing research for my previous project, the POCtober Sketchbook. In the interviews that I conducted with the Sista Grrrls; Tamar-Kali, Honeychild Coleman, Maya Sokora, and Simi Stone, I kept hearing about a fairly specific alienation within music scenes. At the same time I was doing research for another ongoing project, and seeing this alienation echoed in some of the online interviews I came across. It began to jog my memory about some of the things that I saw in the old punk zines. Then something started playing in my head - “Strange Glances,” - a (never released?) song by Bobby Porter’s Thin White Line, all the way from 90s Pittsburgh, PA. It became a soundtrack to my discovery, 4 minutes rife with a romantic alienation and the self destruction of rock n’ roll. I began collecting quotes, rediscovering where I saw them, feeling a little ill at ease sometimes for doing so…like how strange was I being, focusing on these things? Would people even want their words collated in such a way?
Regardless, I started asking others about their experiences, and added more thoughts and brief stories - from James Spooner, Bianca Xunise, Creature, Flora-Morena Ferierra-Lucini, Guitar Gabby, Ronald Wimberly - (and of course: “more!”) to the mix. I named it after the song that was stuck in my head, paid for it with grant money from the city, and held onto the constant hope that I’m contributing well, in some way.
- FROM peppermintraygun.com
Raeghan Buchanan is an illustrator, writer, and musician born in Eerie, PA. After risking more than a decade of life to drumming and singing in hardcore, post punk, and power pop bands, she has returned to her first love: comics. She has self-published Strange Glances and the POCtober Sketchbook. Buchanan's creative work centers on exploring different areas of Black heritage, such as rock 'n' roll musical roots and general history, in social and political arenas and science fiction.