Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sex in the Comics: Sex Around the World, part 1

These were the captions to this particular chapter of the book Sex in the Comics by Maurice Horn, a book I've been posting excerpts from every weekend.
Noel “Bud” Counihan, Betty Boop. In the tradition of the thirties Betty was a sexy (but innocent) vamp. She drew fire from the censor's anyway, and disappeared into the decade.
Mort Walker, Beetle Bailey. Although forty years separate the Beetle Bailey daily strip, some things never change in the cloud-nine cuckooland of newspaper comics: both features display the same leering, boys' locker room attitude towards their subject. (Betty Boop, however, has the excuse of being of its time.)
Wallace Wood, Sally Forth. In contrast Sally Forth was well of its time (the sixties and early seventies). Here Sally and her companions reenact (with a ribald twist) the famous confrontation on the Pentagon steps.
Max Collins and Terry Beatty, Ms.Tree. Love on the first date in the tough world of cops and detectives.
Jim Steranko, Talon. An early example of heroic fantasy in comics, Talon didn't make it, despite its having in abundance the two ingredients indespensable to the genre: brawn and sex.
Jack Jackson, Comanche Moon. Adult relationships are depicted with great honesty in this saga of Indian life in the nineteenth century.
Bill DuBay and Leopold Sanchez, Companions to the Sun. This is a (well-handled) example of the old SF chestnut about a horrible space alien that appears in the guise of an alluring woman to the protagonist, thanks to a perception-altering drug.
Val Mayerik, The Pause That Refreshes. Another sex fantasy, without benefit of drugs this time.
Richard Corben, Rowlf. Rowlf tells of the strange love between a beautiful maiden named Muryara and her canine companion. Turned into being half-dog and half-human by a magic spell, Rowlf saves Maryara from a barbarian horde of invaders. At the close of the adventure we see Rowlf alternately fantasizing that he has become fully human, and fearing that he will revert to his canine state. The tale will end half happily. Rowlf will remain in his present state, but Maryara will come live with him anyway.
Art Spiegelman, Shaggy Dog Story. The raciness of this tale is counter-balanced by the stylized, cubistic design which makes it all seem like a fantasy (or an hallucination).
Willy Murphy, Henry Henpeck. In this strip (the title is obviously derived from Milt Gross's early creation Henry Peck, a Happy Married Man). Henry and his monstrous spouse are the underground version of Jiggs and Maggie. But even this worm can turn...
Joyce Farmer, Mr. Right. A tale of bisexuality in duplicate by one of the editors of the notorious Tits and Clits comic book.
Robert Crumb, Ultra Super Modernistic Comics. Crumb never fails to inject sexual overtones into his even most whimsical creations.
Frank Thorne, Lann. Lann is the latest in Thorne's long line of Amazon warriors. Here she demonstrates how to get rid of a too-ardent admirer...
Anonymous, the eight-pagers were sex parodies so typically American in theme, treatment, and format that it is fitting to have one of them close out this section.
Edmond Le Rallic Jalousie (“Jealousy”). Having dreamed her spouse was cheating on her, a jealous wife falls upon her husband after awakening, in a typical display of Gallic pique. (Le Rallic later became a noted Western strip artist and a pillar of the Catholic press).

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