Creamin' for comics

THE SEX ISSUE: Get your pencils out for the best graphic porn
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Lick it with Colleen Coover

culture@sfbg.com

Erotic comics are a special breed of porn. Unlike prose, they can show as well as describe. Unlike photos, they're narrative. Unlike film, they have a limitless special effects budget. Comics are capable of everything from gritty, realistic detail to "yowza!" flights of fancy — perfect for the demands of erotica.

And yet good erotic comics seem in short supply. Despite a venerable history that stretches from the Tijuana Bibles of the 1920s to the wild antics of the underground comix movement in the '60s and '70s, porn comics have languished of late. Alternative and independent comics have been trending more toward asexuality. And gay male erotic cartoonists are only now struggling out of the shadow of Tom of Finland, whose comics of square-jawed, fascist-reminiscent leathermen and bikers have dominated gay erotic art in the same way that Tolkien's imagination bound and gagged fantasy writers for generations.

Once you start digging, however, it's remarkable the gems you can find. The fact that comics are so marginalized creates a kind of purity to the art form. Cartoonists aren't motivated by fame and fortune, but rather by their passion for their stories and their art. The same is doubly true for erotic cartoonists, whose work is often an evolution of the naughty pictures they drew compulsively while growing up.

Here are a few of the most unusual, hot, and fun recent erotic comics collections to get your juices flowing.

BEST EROTIC COMICS 2009

Greta Christina, Editor

(Last Gasp)

www.lastgasp.com

A man stimulates the orifice of a bound mermaid with a twig, an infertile professor convinces a student to impregnate his wife, a dominatrix hires a gay masseur to fuck her boyfriend, a sadistic dom pisses all over her girlfriend, King Kong and Godzilla have hot sex in the ruins of Tokyo.

Best Erotic Comics, an annual collection of the best and brightest of kinky comics, is yet another reason to be proud of our sexy Bay Area, published as it is by legendary, local institution Last Gasp. Editor Greta Christina has assembled an impressive collection of literary smut comics that run the full gamut of sexual interests, from octopus sex to airplane sex. It's especially refreshing to see straight porn side by side with gay and lesbian imagery — it allows the reader to understand sexuality as a spectrum of possibilities, and to see how hot the fantasies of others can be.

PRIDE

Gengoroh Tagame

(G-Project, 2007)

www.tagame.org

Odd as it may seem, the best bear comics porn in the world is coming out of Japan, a country with a noticeable lack of big, hairy men. Clearly the exotic has its erotic charms. Unlike yaoi — the popular manga genre in which female cartoonists create stories of gay male romance and sex for an audience of girls and women — bara is gay manga created by actual gay male creators and usually does not feature the yaoi breed of androgynous boys with big eyes and floppy hairdos, but rather burly, hypermasculine men.

No one is better at portraying these than Gengoroh Tagame, arguably the world's greatest, living erotic cartoonist. His universe is populated with the hottest muscle bears outside of the Lone Star's patio during Folsom Street Fair weekend, and they have a tendency to be tied up, humiliated, and fucked senseless. Pride is a recent trilogy of books from the master, detailing the gradual transformation of a cocky, hirsute hunk into an obedient slave by a buff, bearded professor. The books are full of all sorts of S-M shenanigans, with our hero being put through the paces, from extreme bondage and piercings to fistings and scat play.

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