Read ‘Afrodisiac’ Online: Blaxploitation Flicks x Trashy ’70s Marvel Comics
If there are two things we love, it’s gotta be blaxploitation movies and trashy ’70s Marvel comics. Blaxploitation films managed to capture the zeitgeist and turn a thirst for social justice (and hatred for injustice) into compelling entertainment. ’70s Marvel books were full of scary monsters, talking ducks, demonic motorcycle riders, and daughters of Satan. The heyday of both genres are long gone now, but luckily, Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca share our tastes and created Afrodisiac, an incredible graphic novel that blends the two.
If you somehow managed to miss it, Adhouse has been kind enough to provide us with an online copy of entire book — which was nominated for an 2011 Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication — and you can read it for free right here.You’ll have to scroll down to read Afrodisiac, but bear with me for a moment. The thing about Afrodisiac is that it manages to replicate tropes from both blaxploitation flicks and ’70s Marvel without being cloying or cute about it. Rather than being an ironic endeavor, or just a pile of references masquerading as content, Rugg and Maruca dug deep into what makes both things work and created the ultimate blend. Afrodisiac isn’t a straightforward narrative. Rather than being the story of Afrodisiac, Afrodisiac is actually the story of the story of Afrodisiac. It’s a celebration of a comics character whose book ran hundreds of issues and was mega popular in its time. So you get bits and pieces of Afrodisiac’s history, rather than a tale that goes straight from here to there. This is an immensely cool take. It’s an archival work for something that never happened, from toys to all-ages comics to cartoon shows.
All meta-commentary aside, you should read Afrodisiac because it’s brutally, brutally funny. It’ll make you laugh til you cry, and there’s at least a warm smile to be had on every page. This is the kind of comic you can love without reservations.
Now that all of that’s out of the way… enjoy. After you finish, scroll down to see a few pinups we thought were pretty great.