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Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): September 2014

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A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.

September's covers include masterclass composition from Genndy Tarkakovsky and Noelle Stevenson, some beautiful uses of light, color, and contrast, and some very different portraits of gods, old and new.

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Why Big Superhero Muscles Aren’t ‘The Same Thing’ As Sexy Curves

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As a man who reads superhero comics, I confess that I share a commonly-held prurient interest in big-chested, long-legged heroes in skin-baring costumes that barely cover their naughty bits -- or as I like to call him, Namor.

Sadly, Namor is pretty much alone in his category. Contrary to the perception that male heroes in comics are frequently sexually objectified, it's my experience that even Namor is only rarely presented as someone to lust over. Yet I'm fortunate that my tastes run towards the Hemsworth end of the scale. Like many straight men, I admire the kind of buff dudes that are the staple of superhero comics, even though they are rarely sexualized. If I shared the tastes of most of the women I know, I think I'd find superhero comics an even more frustratingly sexless wasteland.

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The Jack Kirby Of Porn: Celebrating The Happy Hunks Of Tom Of Finland

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The Finnish postal service launched its most successful limited edition stamps of all time last week -- featuring a pair of pertly muscular buttocks and a naked man being straddled by a biker. Advance orders for the stamp came in from 178 countries worldwide, and people lined up on launch day like the stamps had an Apple logo on them.

The reason for the stamps' appeal -- beyond the objective appeal of buttocks -- was the artist responsible, one of the nation's most successful comic book creators: the legendary homoerotic artist Tom of Finland. As part of very important series of articles about men as comic book pin-ups, ComicsAlliance explores the work and legacy of Tom.

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The Naughty Knot: Unpacking Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso’s Comments On Sex Appeal And Diversity

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In an interview with The Telegraph's Radhika Sanghani, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso offered some insights into how he regards the superhero comic industry's treatment of female characters -- and his own intentions towards diversity.

The interview is chiefly noteworthy for confirming what already seems apparent from recent changes in Marvel's line-up, namely that Marvel understands and is responding to demographic changes in the marketplace. "We believe there's an audience of women out there who are hungry for this [product] and we want to make sure they get it," said Alonso. "This is affirmative action. This is capitalism.”

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Fraction Gets Pierced, Zdarsky Gets Catty at ‘Sex Criminals’ Launch Party

Fraction and Zdarsky. Photograph by Paul Hillier.
Fraction and Zdarsky. Photograph by Paul Hillier.

One of the most unique comic book launch parties in the history of the industry occurred last night at Wicked nightclub in Toronto.

The book was Sex Criminals, a genuinely touching, romantic and indeed erotic new mature readers miniseries illustrated by Chip Zdarsky and written by Zdarsky and Matt Fraction and published by Image Comics, about a pair of criminals with the power to stop time with their simultaneous orgasms. The venue was not a typical nightclub; it has beds, and a hot tub, a public shower, and strange holes in the bathroom wall. Wicked is a sex club. For sex.

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‘Sex’: The Best Eighties Comics Currently Being Published

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Remember that feeling you got when you first read the great comics of the Eighties? When fantastic deconstructions of superhero characters and genre fiction idioms introduced you to a new level of sophistication? When dozens of mainstream books were possessed of a style and edge that scaled up your spine and sent electricity licking through your neck? When sex and violence were done right? Do ya miss it? Joe Casey and Piotr Kowalski might just have your fix: if you miss the honed sense of danger you got when reading The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, and American Flagg! it might be time to check out the Image comic Sex, the coolest new Batman book on the shelves.

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SEX: ‘Sex’ Writer Joe Casey on New Superhero ‘Sex’ Comic [Interview (about 'Sex')]

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When teasers popped up this past summer with the line "Image Comics Wants You to Buy Sex," it wasn't all that shocking to discover that Joe Casey was behind it all. His new comic book series, he announced in San Diego, would cut throu

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In Porn Anthology ‘Smut Peddler,’ Women Spin Sexy Stories For Everyone [Review]

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Womanthology may have gotten the bulk of the press, but there's another woman-driven comics anthology that fired up Kickstarter this year. Smut Peddler collects more than two dozen pornographic comics by women (and a handful of their male collaborators). These are sexy tales of the unexpected: a pair of xenobiologists stranded

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Sex & Violence Comix: Conan The Barbarian

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Brian Wood's scripting the latest relaunch of Robert E. Howard's Conan character, this time in a series called Conan the Barbarian. The DMZ and The Massive writer is using Howard's short story "Queen of the Black Coast" as a springboard for new stories featuring the barbarian. Wood's telling a classic

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Animal Gender Roles Explained in Adorable Cartoons

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While arguments about gay people getting married tend to center on the so-called "natural" state of the human family, a quick peek around the animal kingdom reveals that sex and animal behavior don't always break down into neat "one male, one female" units. And

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