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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Illustrated History of Hardcore 'Toons
The most intelligent question I've ever known anyone to ask about sexually explicit comics comes from writer Alan Moore, who's spent his professional career leading the way for his peers. "Is there a way," Moore asked in 1993, "of doing pornography that is sexually arousing, is not offensive politically, aesthetically, or in all those other ways, that can speak to women...
Published on 30 May 2009 by Roochak

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely presented, could have been more insightful.
Getting Alan Moore to write the introduction to your book about the history of erotic comics is something of a double edged sword because the first thing one reads is well written, insightful - it has real substance. I carried on reading into the body of the book itself and I missed all of the good stuff I'd been treated to in the introduction. It's not badly written, by...
Published 19 months ago by MR I MOORE


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Illustrated History of Hardcore 'Toons, 30 May 2009
The most intelligent question I've ever known anyone to ask about sexually explicit comics comes from writer Alan Moore, who's spent his professional career leading the way for his peers. "Is there a way," Moore asked in 1993, "of doing pornography that is sexually arousing, is not offensive politically, aesthetically, or in all those other ways, that can speak to women as well as men, that can have characters, meaning, and a story the same way as ordinary literature?" The answer is yes, but proving it in a finished comic is another matter entirely, which is why most artists don't try and most readers don't seem to care. (Moore and artist Melinda Gebbie may have accomplished that difficult task in their epic porn comic, Lost Girls Hardcover Edition; I plan on reading an affordable edition.)

The second volume of Tim Pilcher's history of erotic comics covers the mid 'seventies to the present, and the theme that emerges in this survey is that while depictions of hardcore sex have become commonplace, the average sex comic is as stupid and boring as the average porn video; only the fetishes have become increasingly fractured, and more extreme in their presentation.

Chapter one covers the USA from the deathblow that Stan Lee, with the backing of the Nixon administration, dealt to the Comics Code Authority, through the mid 'nineties, when competition from the internet made it increasingly difficult for erotic comics publishers to make a living. In those years, nothing was off limits, unless you made the mistake of drawing or selling porn comics in the Bible Belt, which necessitated the birth of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Elsewhere, things were going so well that even mainstream publisher DC Comics got into the act with such pioneering Vertigo titles as ENIGMA and THE EXTREMIST.

Chapter two covers the rise of gay and lesbian comics, from Howard Cruse and Tom of Finland to Alison Bechdel. The next chapter celebrates European erotica, a class act in terms of its draftsmanship, at least until we get to Spain: for some reason, Spanish porn comics look amateurish next to their French, Italian, and Argentinian competition.

Chapter four is Pilcher's ambivalent look at Japanese hentai, which he seems to find disgusting and/or boring in equal measure. (Curiously, the yaoi [gay male] panels are better drawn than anything else reproduced in this chapter.) The book concludes with a brief look at erotica online, a field in which we are all experts.

The front dust jacket illustration, a typically gorgeous nude by Giovanna Casotto, is worth the price of the book by itself. Unfortunately, the image has been cropped for the UK edition.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard back hard core!, 7 Mar 2009
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J. A. Short - See all my reviews
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Erotic Comics 2: A Graphic History from the Liberated '70s to the InternetThe second volume of Tim Pilcher's handsome analysis of the history of sex comics is even more sumptuous than the first. It's full colour, lavishly illustrated pages delve into the last forty years of adult sequential storytelling, covering an amazing range of styles. Pretty much, you'll find all your favourite creators represented from Alan Moore, Howard Chakin, Gilbert Hernandez through to Giovanna Casotto, Milo Manara and Frank Cho, not to mention huge amounts of Japanese erotica. Sometimes books on comics don't reproduce enough of the original strips to actually read anything, but that isn't the case here. If you have never sampled any naughty comics, this is a marvellous starting point to let you discover who and what is out there. Dip in and sample the huge variety of styles and subjects being produced. With a fantastic sense of design and beautiful reproduction this is a book that will grace any coffee table... or maybe not if your aunt Tilly is due around for tea (well... maybe even then?)

John A. Short
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely presented, could have been more insightful., 11 Dec 2012
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Getting Alan Moore to write the introduction to your book about the history of erotic comics is something of a double edged sword because the first thing one reads is well written, insightful - it has real substance. I carried on reading into the body of the book itself and I missed all of the good stuff I'd been treated to in the introduction. It's not badly written, by any means, but as a subject it deserves the attention of somebody who recognises how fundamental and revealing the depiction of the erotic is for a society. It's not a bland subject but in this book it got a pretty bland writer.
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Erotic Comics: A Graphic History: Volume 2: From the 1970s to the Present Day
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