I just watched a doc called Sex in The Comix. It's short but covers some interesting types of comics ( although mostly erotica satire) and is pretty international in it's scope. No superheroes, though. Manara. Crepax gets mentioned. Europen and Asian artists i wasn't too familiar with. American is represented mostly by Crumb and his wife and some women's lib era underground comics.
It's on Netflix and You tube for now
Last edited by ed2962; 05-23-2016 at 03:42 PM.
Yeah, I'm responding to old posts. Sue me.
Alright, not to bash the guy too much, but this particular scene is a good example of how he stumbles a lot with character voice. They sound like adolescents, because that's the the way the Bendis writes virtually all of his characters (at least, how he wrote them at the time). It's that clipped, quick, back-and-forth quippiness that somehow sounds halfway between how teens speak and how they text on their phones. This is a big reason why I hated and couldn't keep up with any of Bendis' Avengers. The guy has exactly two character voices: monologues and "teenager quippiness." This means whenever any character is talking about hooking up or dating or whatever, you get this locker-room jargon or awkward stumbling, regardless of whose speaking.
I dunno, maybe he's gotten better since then, but this always bugged the hell out of me.
In general terms, American comics don't handle sex well, at all (especially mainstream comics) and relationships, even when handled well, are usually undone by the serial nature of most comic book stories. For the longest time, Marvel only had Reed and Sue and their relationship was always troubled and sex was something only even implied in the fact that they had a child. Peter and Mary Jane had a nice relationship, under certain creators, though they fare pretty well, under most of their creative teams, until it was thrown out the window. DC had several happy couples, in the Bronze Age; but started unraveling most of them by the 80s and 90s. Ironically, its' also when they finally grew up a bit about Superman. Even then, serial storytelling and outside forces worked to undermine it. Clark and Lois were intended to be married before the tv series came along, so the comics were forced to put the brakes on it, then jumpstart it when the tv show was faltering and went to the wedding well.
Starman actually had a pretty good handle on things throughout the run, both in terms of casual relationships, committed ones, and even friendships. It also handled gay relationships well. And yet, this is the same writer who throws out dialogue (in another series) about Hal Jordan having a threesome with Huntress and Lady Blackhawk, without their voice in the story. It was simply a way of making Hal into some kind of sexual god. meanwhile, when Ralph and Sue Dibny apepared later in Starman, Robinson portrayed them as a real loving couple, who were also best friends. He got what made them special and why so many were outraged by Identity Crisis, beyond the idea of these heroes sanctioning mindwiping. Sue was offered up as cannon fodder by a writer who cared nothing about her, other than to be a murder victim whose death would upset both characters and readers.
The indie world has been much better, particularly series that don't focus on adventure, like Strangers in Paradise and Love & Rockets. relationships can be messy; but, the read as true. Sex depends on the creator. Some have used it for satire and some have been very sensitive about using it as an aspect of a truly adult relationship.
Europe is often cited; but, I think that varies quite a bit. They are more casual about it and their stories are often less repressed; but, many use it rather gratuitously. Some of it is done as pure erotica, which is a different area than most American comics. One of the creators I always felt used it well, within the context of his stories and in a mature manner, is Vittorio Giardino, creator of No Pasaran!, A Jew in Communist Prague, Oriental Gateway, and Hungarion Rhapsody. He has done erotica, like Litte Ego, an erotic parody of Little Nemo in Slumberland (with an adult woman, not a child); but, he has sexual situations in his other stories. It never seems to exist to mark it as adult. He just tells mature stories. For instance, A Jew in Communist Prague focuses on a young man, named Jonas Fink, whose father was jailed by the Communist regime. His life includes advances made by an older woman; but, it is not portrayed as erotic. Jonas is uncomfortable and the woman is drawn as a real mature woman, not a sexpot or model.
Last edited by codystarbuck; 05-25-2016 at 03:59 PM.
I think you're right about indie comics creators. The writers/artists can at least do the story the way they want whether realism or titillation without the concern of corporate IPs or editors or audiences freaking out about "change".
I'd heard of Little Ego although I've never read it. A Jew in Communist Prague sounds interesting.
Early in the thread, I saw Crepax mentioned. He's an amazing artist, in a visual sense; but, his erotic work is very much on the darker side of things, adapting BDSM literary works like The Story of O and Justine. Valentina was a little lighter, though it tread a lot in that territory. His Man from Harlem was more of a straightforward drama. He's very stylized and very much an artist's artist.
The Red One issue three came out a few weeks ago. It's a few months late, but it's an "interesting" comic. Basically the premise is that it's the late 70's and there's a woman leading a campaign against pornography and communists while a vigilante is murdering "undesirable" people. There's an X-rated film maker planning a big film based loosely on the life that the vigilante has also modeled himself on. Into this mix the Soviet Union has sent a female super soldier to America to become a super hero.
The art by Terry and Rachel Dodson is really nice, but the dialogue is pretty awkward. I think there's a problem with the translation. I like the concept though.
Red One #4 just came out. Also I just received in the mail Paying For It by Chester Brown.
I haven't read it yet, but it's an autobio about Brown seeing escorts. The back matter seems to be essays/debates about prostitution.