Erotic art has been part of almost every culture on Earth, argues Shea Hennum, a vital part of human self-expression since the very beginning.
With the advent of the internet eroticized comics are now more accessible and acceptable than ever before, notes Hennum, and “many cartoonists are turning to them to explore new artistic ground,” including an unprecedented number of woman.
Erotic comics “exist in a long, rich tradition of erotic and eroticized art, from ancient cave paintings — like a French vulva hailing from 37,000 years ago — to explicit sculptures, pottery, papyrus, daguerreotypes, word carvings, drawings, you name it,” says Hennum.
While the “Tijuana Bibles” in the early 20th century to the revolutionary comics of the 1960s, comics were constantly breaking new ground and challenging taboos, they were still created primarily by straight men.
“Sex was everywhere, but it was a patriarchal sex; women were still treated and drawn like objects.”
Today, the barrier between “regular” comics and pornography is collapsing, and women are leading the movement, doing away with arbitrary and useless distinctions.
Katie Skelly, cartoonist and author of the Agent series, whose own provocative work helped usher in this new era, perhaps sums it up best: “I’m way less concerned about blending the carnal in with the cerebral. Flesh is like a whole new medium.”