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Dave McKean on sex and violence in comics

celluloid“Well, sex is OK. I like sex. Why are there so many books about violence? Why are there so many books and stories about violence? How much violence do you come upon in your daily life? How much sex have you had? It seems out of balance. I think sex is a lovely thing, something to be celebrated and explored in every form — in film, in comics, in all sorts. I touched on it in a book I did called Cages. I had a sex scene, and I was going to do an absolutely blunt, these two people are in love and they’re going to have sex. But I kind of shied away from it because then a great big 500-page graphic novel would be an X certificate book because of three pages. That seemed ridiculous. I always fancied doing a book that was just about sex and exploring the feelings and thoughts going on in your mind when you’re curious about sex. … I really loved doing it, but there were a couple things I didn’t get to, focusing on those little moments. Not necessarily big pornographic scenes, but attraction, a little bit of voyeurism, human play. I think that’s curious. I’d like to do something about that.”

Dave McKean, discussing where the idea for his adult graphic novel Celluloid came from, in an interview with CBR TV

Anyone up for a game of ‘Edgy Comics Bingo’?

Cathy Leamy's "Edgy Comics Bingo"

Just in time for New Comics Day, Cathy Leamy has posted her “Edgy Comics Bingo” card, which is part game, part commentary and all … fun for the entire family? Okay, maybe not that last part.

While many of the tropes depicted on the card are all too familiar — “Whores Who Need Saving,” “Thinly Veiled Real People” and “Whatever Fetish Was On Boing Boing Last Month” leap out — I’ve concluded I may be reading the wrong (or is that right?) comics. For instance, I can’t recall any that included “Things Going Up Butts” or “Gay Overcompensating.” That said, I’ve seen enough instances of “Knifemurder” — which presumably includes swords and/or tridents through the back — and “‘splodemurder” in comics to last a couple of lifetimes.

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40 most violent comics, my Aunt Fanny

Lev Gleason, you wuz robbed

Lev Gleason, you wuz robbed

I suppose in general I agree with most of the selections in Complex Magazine’s  The 40 Most Violent Comics Ever, put together by Chris Sims and John Parker. The picks tend toward the obvious though, with a decided emphasis on recent, mainstream comics of the past 20 years, making me wish they had put a bit more effort into their selection process. Garth Ennis, Frank Miller and Mark Millar are all name-checked several times and books like Preacher, Hard Boiled and Faust all put in appearances. No surprises, really.

And while I’m glad to see manga included via Lone Wolf and Cub and Blade the Immortal, but is that all they could come up with? What about Hideshi Hino? Suehiro Maruo? Shintaro Kago? Takashi Nemoto’s Monster Men Buriko Lullaby makes Faust look like a Casper comic. Kazuo Umezu’s The Drifting Classroom has elementary school kids falling to their death and being strangled by madmen and stabbed fer crissakes!

Even if we keep to North America there are still plenty of worthy entries that got the shaft for watered-down stuff like Kraven’s Last Hunt. How, for example, can you not include Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy? The underground comics of Greg Irons and Tom Veitch? Lev Gleason’s Crime Does Not Pay? Friggin EC horror comics for cryin’ out loud! I demands a recount.

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