4 Nov
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Adult Comics: An Overview

During that era adult-themed comics featuring well-known-and-loved cartoon characters, political figures, and Hollywood stars were published (without their consent of course) in cheaply-produced pamphlets known as “Tijuana Bibles”. These publications were small, rectangular, 8-page booklets printed in stark black ink on poor-quality white paper. Sold in the back rooms of dance halls, tobacco shops and the like, Tijuana Bibles enjoyed the height of their popularity during the 1930’s before seeing a drastic drop in demand following World War II. However, throughout the next three decades a small underground market remained, and in the mid-to-late 1960’s publications such as Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella were being marketed openly to adults, sold in the same store racks as adult magazines due to their decidedly adult content.

Fast-forward to the 21st century; the age of the Internet. There is no more need to comb the back alleys and back rooms of seedy establishments in dangerous parts of town to find adult-themed comics. You can now easily peruse them at your leisure in the comfort of your own home while you watch the Big Game or prepare Sunday’s church sermon.

Who reads adult comic books? Why do they read them? Anyone who wants to read them, of course. Anyone who sees and understands that everything related to sex and sexuality should not always be taken so seriously, and should certainly not always be labeled as pornography. Many people are afraid to confront their own feelings regarding these matters, sometimes because of their upbringing, in which they were taught to see anything having to do with nudity or sex as “dirty” or “wrong”. By viewing these things in the form of comic book-type drawings rather than actual photographs or movies, it becomes easier for them to begin to see sexuality in a different light. By perhaps seeing it in a “fun” medium such as a comic, it becomes a different animal; one that doesn’t have razor-sharp claws and fangs to punish with. This can be a good thing, because sexuality in and of itself is not a shameful or “bad” thing. It is a very natural part of each one of us. Suppression of natural desires and curiosities is unhealthy, so adult comics can be a good starting point for a person who wants to take the taboo out of the whole subject.

If there is a negative side to adult comics, it would be that the illustrations can result in unrealistic body-image expectations, especially where females are concerned. The overwhelming majority of adult comics portray the female form as extremely voluptuous, with large breasts and hips, tiny waists, flawless skin, and perfect faces and hair (of course they’re perfect-they’re DRAWN ON!); males are generally drawn with abnormally large genitalia, and athletically muscular bodies. Should one develop too deep an interest in adult comics he can easily begin to have unrealistic expectations as to what the “perfect” member of the opposite (or same) sex is, and find himself unsatisfied by the regular individual who cannot possibly meet the standards of an illustration.

Adult comics are entertaining, and that is the purpose for which they are intended. Kept safely in that context, anyone at all can enjoy them.

So, what do you think?