The Best Erotic Comics by Great Artists
Much like comics themselves, erotic art is often dismissed in the mainstream as low-brow and trashy. Well, it’s time to throw your taboos out the windows, because like any genre, the art of making things sexy has some pretty sublime and beautiful moments — just check out the gorgeous and highly pornographic “Lost Girls” by “Watchmen” creator Alan Moore if you don’t believe me. And he’s not alone — some of the biggest and most-respected artists and creators in comics have tried their hand at pin-ups or straight-up pornography over the years. Chris Sims of the Invincible Super-Blog even made a list.
Archivist Craig Yoe recently released a book of fetish art from Superman co-creator Joe Shuster called “Secret Identity,” which stands out not just for its BDSM themes, but the fact that pretty much everyone in it looks EXACTLY like Superman and Lois Lane. And occasionally Perry White, which is just weird.
One of the best known erotic comics of all time, Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s “Lost Girls” centers on Wendy from Peter Pan, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and Alice from Alice in Wonderland discussing their sexual adventures, which makes it the all-girl “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” of porn.
DAN DECARLO PIN-UPS:
Among comics fans, Dan DeCarlo is best known as the defining artist for “Archie” and the creator of Josie and the Pussycats and Cheryl Blossom, which casts the pin-up work he did for men’s magazines in a whole new light — especially since his subjects often look like very, VERY grown-up versions of Betty and Veronica.
JACK COLE PIN-UPS:
In a similar vein, Jack Cole, the revolutionary creator of Plastic Man whose comics are often cited alongside Will Eisner’s as being years ahead of their time, also did his share of pinups and gag strips for Playboy and other men’s mags of the ’50s, working under the pseudonym “Jake.”
Colleen Coover is currently enjoying well-deserved success as one of the most popular artists for Marvel’s kid-friendly titles, which — considering that her breakout hit “Small Favors” was a “girly porno comic” about a nymphomaniac and the size-changing embodiment of her own conscience that was equal parts dirty jokes, sweet romance and hardcore girl-on-girl action — is a pretty neat trick.
While nowhere near the actual pornography of “Lost Girls” or “Small Favors,” the love interest of Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer introduced a whole new generation of comics readers to ’40s pinup queen Bettie Page.
In what has to be the best/worst/best again origin story of all time, Adam Warren’s “Empowered” came about when the popular artist of “The Dirty Pair” (a comic about two girls in metal bikinis blowing things up) was commissioned to draw a super-heroine with an easily-shredded costume in bondage, and ended up creating an entire world built around a neurotic aspiring heroine with an ironic name and one of the most romantic relationships in comics, all while keeping things as adult as you can possibly get without any actual nudity.
In what was undoubtedly Dr. Wertham’s worst nightmare, the Elementals (by future “Fables” creator Bill Willingham) were a super-team that would occasionally just take a few issues off to get it on. And let’s be honest here, if Marvel had done that with the X-Men in the early ’90s, they’d STILL be counting the money.
One of the leaders of the underground comix movement of the ’60s — and its often racy comics — R. Crumb made his sexual fantasies and the very voluptuous women they involved an integral part of his work. A collection called “R. Crumb’s Sex Fantasies” sums it up pretty succinctly. He called it a “creative catharsis,” we just call it hot.
Cartoonist Phil Foglio might be best known for his long-running webcomic “Girl Genius,” but his self-published “XXXenophile” — known both for its humor and its truly bizarre couplings that featured cyborgs, demons, aliens, dryads, at least one were-panther and the occasional centaur–featured a Who’s Who of comics creators with contributions from John Workman, “TMNT” co-creator Kevin Eastman, and even Adam Hughes.
And speaking of Hughes, it might not come as much of a surprise that one of the first jobs for the current king of “good girl” art was drawing “Hericane” for Penthouse Comix, a series about a heroine who gained her powers from, and we are not making this up, “a combination of a TNT explosion and oral sex.”