Elevate Difference

Reviews by Chella Quint

Chella Quint

Chella Quint is a comedy writer, artist and performer originally from New York but now living in Sheffield, England. She writes and edits the zines Adventures in Menstruating and Chart Your Cycle with her wife, Sarah Thomasin, and is one half of The Venns with her comedy writing partner, Jow. As well as contributing to Elevate Difference, she has also written articles for Subtext Magazine, GirlFuture, and The Guardian Arts Blog.

Excerpts from her zines have been included in several anthologies in the US and the UK, and her cover designs have appeared in Time Out London, Plan B, and Fairlady magazines, and in the upcoming book Fanzines by Teal Triggs. Chella’s ad-busting comedy femcare graphics were recently featured, along with a discussion of her comedy activism work, in New Blood: Third-Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation by Chris Bobel,

Chella’s live work includes performances as the Stand Up Columnist at venues around Sheffield, annual Adventures in Menstruating Roadshows, and sketch- and improv-based comedy in her free time.

Vag Magazine

I didn’t think it was even figuratively possible to shoot yourself in the foot while disappearing up your own behind, but the characters in Vag Magazine have proven otherwise. This eerily well-observed sketch show from the women of the Upright Citizens Brigade is watchable and rewatchable by third wave feminists and those who love them—or who love to laugh at them—especially since every episode is available on the web.

A Chanukah Noel: A True Story

A Chanukah Noel is a welcome addition to the limited but much-needed canon of interfaith children’s books, and it has the particular additional benefit of being entirely secular. This combination of qualities already sets it apart from most Christmas picture books. The story is about a young Jewish girl named Charlotte who moves to rural France and struggles to fit in.

Laughed 'Til He Died: A Death On Demand Mystery

I do like a good mystery, though I normally tend to go for either an author I know, a series I know, or a “world” I know. Since the author and locale of Laughed ‘Til He Died were both completely new to me, the fact that this book held my interest, and had me doing some late-night page-turning to see how it all turned out, speaks well for it. A South Carolinian island is the location for this latest installment in the Death Walked In series.

We Have To Stop Now

We Have To Stop Now is freakin’ hilarious, excruciating, and perfect. You have to watch it. Convention dictates that I now tell you why. It all started in 1994 when I watched the Out There Comedy Special on Comedy Central while I was in college. Suzanne Westenhoefer had a ten minute stand up set on that one-off queer comedy show, and I was hooked. So when I saw her name on this blog’s list of review items, followed by the words “lesbian” and “comedy tv series,” I requested that I be the one to review it.

Signed, Abiah Rose

I love picture books and have particular respect for anyone who can both write and illustrate them engagingly. Artist and illustrator Diane Browning has done exactly that. Signed, Abiah Rose chronicles, in a confident first person narrative, a young woman’s determination to become a professional artist despite the conventions and taboos of her time.


I love a romantic comedy. Throw in some magic realism–even better. Jac Schaeffer's Timer ticks both of those boxes, but, unfortunately for a film that explores people’s fears about missed opportunities, this film missed a few opportunities itself, and lost me as a fan in the process. (It bills itself as sci-fi but I say magic realism–there is new technology, but it’s never fully explained. I call that magic.

If You Like It Then You Should Be Able to Put A Ring On It

Adorable, DIY-style animation and quirky music start off this excellent and important film about marriage equality in Ireland. Cara Holmes and Ciara Kennedy cut and paste stories, images, protests, and facts into a clever, witty, and purposeful narrative. Voice-overs and interviews are illustrated and screened, intercut or overlaid upon footage from rallies, photo montages, and title cards (which have a very on-trend hand-drawn look). These touches make the film more accessible and adhere to the filmmakers’ established aesthetic.

Bye Bi Love

Bye Bi Love is a short film about a woman named Vera who receives a wedding invitation from her ex, and has a decision to make. Ticking this box is answering the most loaded question ever, and the reasons for this become clear as Vera’s story unfolds in a series of flashbacks depicting scenes with her current and former partners, all in the same apartment. Stylistically, it’s a rondo, which is really nice to see executed on film so sophisticatedly.

See What I'm Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary

See What I'm Saying is an irreverent yet important introduction between Deaf performers and a mainstream hearing audience. The film, which is open captioned, follows a year in the lives of four performers who make up a cross-section of the Deaf community in terms of art form, race, gender, and sexuality.

Sapphistries: A Global History of Love Between Women

Sapphistries is an epic journey through real and fictional love between women. It is so epic that the author, Leila J. Rupp, had to coin a new term to describe this type of book. It is not just a history; it is an interweaving of prehistoric musings, fictional accounts that draw on suppositions of what it must have been like in times when no evidence was left of when and where these kinds of love was forbidden, right up to the modern day.

When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

Oh, Gail Collins, you had me at New York Times columnist. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived away from New York for so long now and have to read it online most of the year, but holding printed and bound words from a witty Times writer in a book that I can dip into for a few minutes, or a hour, whenever I like is brainy self-indulgence that I can say yes to. My mother grew up in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and I’ve always had a thing for vintage and retro pop culture. If this is you, too, you’ll quickly find yourself on board as well, Times fetish or no.

Off and Running

Off and Running is a very non-traditional coming-of-age story told in a way that deftly conveys one young woman’s unique situation as well as more universal themes. Filmmaker Nicole Opper was afforded intimate access to her subjects, which enabled her to invite the viewer to take a sensitive and warm perspective as the events unfold. The film’s central subject, a high school track star named Avery Klein-Cloud, is honest and likable.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Treats

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar is a tasty new book by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. It looks so good I’m tempted to eat it, Cookie Monster-style, but then I wouldn’t be able to follow the recipes.

Travel Queeries

I perform a comedy show with my partner at Ladyfest Berlin every year. One of the vague memories I have of our first performance was of a U.S. filmmaker named Elliat politely introducing herself at some of the shows and workshops, then asking permission to film parts of the festival for a documentary she was making. She was warm and welcoming, and people were happy to oblige.

Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture

Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture is an anthology of articles (plus some new material) from ‘90s ad-busting zine Stay Free!. Since I write a zine that deconstructs feminine hygiene advertising, I couldn’t have represented more of their target demographic if I’d tried.

Crossing Washington Square

Some novels are quite naturalistic, but toy with magic realism. This book is the reverse: a charming, modern fairytale that just happens to have been liberally sprinkled with astute observations about life in the English Literature department of a large university. Crossing Washington Square is a neatly crafted and satisfying story of two literature professors who approach their places within academia from different angles.

The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour

I should come clean about this now: I was a total mystery addict as a kid. Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, and The Boxcar Children were my favorites.

Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball

Stolen Bases is as intelligent and powerful as any professional U.S. women’s baseball team would be, should be, and could be...if any were supported enough to exist.