22 Aug

Sex Scenes In Today’s Comics

For many years comic books have featured scenes that were sexually implicit in that they contained at least some suggestion of sexual activity. Indeed, for more than fifty years after “Hogan’s Alley,” the first comic strip that became widely popular, there were no formal laws in place at all to regulate what kinds of material could and could not be included in comic strips. Then again, it was not until World War II that they began to gain mainstream popularity. During that time, the superheroes in stars and stripes fighting for justice and liberty gave many people relief from the horrors of the war. From 1954 to 2011, the content of comic strips was regulated — in custom, if not formally — by the Comics Code Authority. Among other things, the Comics Code prohibited nudity, obscenity, profanity, illicit sex relations, suggestive posture, seduction, rape, and exaggeration of the female body from being depicted. In the rest of this article, we shall deal with sex scenes that have appeared in comic strips during the past ten or twenty years.

Julie Maroh

This cartoonists describes herself as an “ordinary nomad from the north of France” (translation of the original) who is currently at work on the completion of her third graphic novel. In her strip “That Scream,” she depicts a naked couple making love, with the third drawing showing a close up of the boy fondling the girl’s breasts. The only color present is the blue of the girl’s hair and eyes. The looks on both their faces is highly expressive of the intensity of their sexual excitement, as in the frame where the girl is shown with her eyes tight shut and her mouth wide open, screaming “HHHHHHA AHHHHHA JE T’AIME HHHH JE T’AI” (the rest of the word runs outside the frame).

Jeffrey Brown

Brown’s cartoon style contrasts sharply with that of Maroh: While she emphasizes thin lines, he used a black pen that produced thicker lines that make his cartoons look very much like a child’s drawings. One of the scenes that he depicted was that of a couple in which the girl appears to have her head wrapped in a towel or other covering that prevents her from seeing her partner.

Chris Ware

Unlike the other two discussed here, Ware used color. He also used narration alongside his pictures.

To see the cartoons described in this article — plus many others — go to http://www.buzzfeed.com/kristenradtke/comic-stripped?utm_term=4ldqpia#.jj7929XoP.

So, what do you think?