Army of Lovers
A Community History of Will Munro, the Artist, Activist, Impresario and Civic Hero Who Brought Together Toronto's Club Kids, Art Fags, Hardcore Boys, Drag Queens, Rock 'n' Roll Queers, Needlework Obsessives, Limpwristed Nellies, Stone Butches, New Wave Freaks, Unabashed Perverts, Proud Prudes and Beautiful Dreamers
Selected by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) for the 2014 Over the Rainbow Project book list
'Will was pretty much the perfect role model.' — Beth Ditto, The Gossip
Will Munro was a legendary artist, DJ, activist and impresario, as renowned for his transgressive, irreverent art as he was for reinventing Toronto's nightlife culture. His installations and prints co-opted rock 'n' roll imagery and raunchy gay iconography — you couldn't look at men's underwear the same way after a Munro show — and his outre Vazaleen dance parties brought to the city's stages some of the most notorious performers of the last forty years: Nina Hagen, Jayne County and Vaginal Davis, among them. When Munro died of brain cancer in 2010, at the unfathomably young age of thirty-five, Toronto was robbed of one of its most significant civic heroes.
Army of Lovers collects stories from and about the people who knew and loved Munro — including Gossip singer Beth Ditto, filmmaker Bruce LaBruce and artist Luis Jacob — to movingly capture an incandescent moment when Toronto's queer community, art scene and independent music universe came of age and collided with one another.
'With her characteristic insight, elegance, wit and generosity, Sarah Liss gives us the first, important account of Will Munro one of the most important queer artists, activists, promoters and community builders Toronto has ever seen. His impact, memory and influence loom large, and Liss is one of the few people I'd trust to tell his story the way it should be told.' — Michael Cobb, author of Single: Arguments for the Uncoupled
'Army of Lovers is so fascinating it’s already earned a place on the mandatory reading lists of high school and university queer-studies courses, in my opinion. Its pages should be torn out of the book and wheatpasted on every weirdo kid’s locker in every high school in every suburban hellhole.' — Keith Cole, Xtra!
'Through her reconstruction of the past, Liss proves she is a gifted storyteller deeply moved by her subject matter, approaching [Munro's] legacy like a meticulous curator.' — Stacey May Fowles, The National Post
'. . . The most productive force of Army lies not only in conveying the community history of a queer, whimsical, superstar community builder, but in its very documentation through collective memory. Army gives us a different history of queer life in Toronto that must be remembered in order move forward.' —Lambda Literary Review of Books