“Failing Haus” is A Queer Comic About Being Honest With Yourself

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If you’re looking for a new queer web comic to obsess over, look no further than Failing Haus. It’s a biographical tale of a 27-year-old gay Libra living in Portland, OR who loves crystals, crass, works for adults with disabilities and, as creator Robyn Bateman put it best, “struggles constantly with overwhelming episodes of sadness, misogynist micro and macro aggressions, being in love, not being in love, loving her big body, not loving her big body, drinking too much, and being angry at the patriarchy all the time.”

Oh, and her cat Leeloo: “Perhaps my biggest love interest.”

Yes, FH is based off Robyn’s life and the topics resonate deep with us queer folk. You can find it weekly in Nailed magazine—an arts and culture magazine who approached Robyn to create a serial comic, so she made “College,” a bi-monthly comic of “monsters having people feelings.” Then Failing Haus was born—Robyn’s queer coming out story.

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Robyn Bateman began looking at comics when she was just a little kid. She saw her brother taking books like The Adventures of Tintin into the bathroom with him, and she basically thought that move was genius and their collection grew and grew until, “their covers and pages had been torn, soaked and bent from exposure to god knows what. It’s pretty disgusting when I think about it. I keep those now in my living room in a stack for people to peruse when they visit. Which is even more disgusting, but I don’t tell them that.” Robyn was into the Sunday comic anthologies like Calvin and Hobbes, Alan @ Home and Zits. She went to college for creative writing and found a big love in graphic novels.

“Pairing illustrations, abstract or not, with written narrative or dialogue or language can connect places of my brain that have never met each other before,” Robyn said.

Failing Street was the first place Robyn moved to after leaving an abusive relationship.

“It became impossible for me to sit down and write anything during that time, which was so shitty because writing has always been something I am able to access when I need to. I started drawing because it felt easier than performing poems. I felt less pressure to be expository and felt safer,” Robyn said.

You’ll feel a culmination of all that we conjure, muddle, sit with, stand up to, invoke, retract, root for, rage against and live by when you scroll through Robyn’s FH comic strips in Nailed. The result is honest, empowering, hilarious streams of thought, feeling, words and actions—a girl wearing a Slutever shirt, “Home Depot Boners,” first date moments and drinking red wine while lying down.

“Pair that with loud feminism and occasional drug use and you get Failing Haus. The events in the comic are all autobiographical. The love interests are real, though their names have been changed,” Robyn said.

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From its early beginnings to present strips, like “Spring Aneurysm” and the latest, “Gay…I’m Gay,” Failing Haus has evolved quite a bit. Robyn’s newest comic header for FH summons you to bring your guitar to the fire pit and/or stay in bed all day—ain’t it the little things that make the world go ‘round? That’s life here on Failing Street, with Leeloo the cat (who just learned how to speak) as we continue to experience, and feel, self-loathe, or self-love, through the tender love of comics.

Follow Failing Haus on Nailed magazine already!

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