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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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08/07/2005 Archived Entry: "Adult comic review: Sticky 2"

Sticky 2
Story by Dale Lazarov
Art by Steve MacIsaac
Published by Eros

J LHLS would like to thank Eros Comix for this copy of Sticky 2, which was given to us at Comic Con. J LHLS reviewer Lene Taylor isn't writing reviews these days, alas, but she is podcasting about the comics she's received from J LHLS. This review originally appeared on show number 6 at I Read Comics. ED

Transcribed from Lene Taylor's I Read Comics, Show 6:

On to the gay porn portion of the show! What I have here is Issue 2 of "Sticky." And "Sticky" is gay porn erotica, that's what it says, being published by Eros Comics, and this was kindly given to us at Comic Con by Fantagraphics. Number 3 is out, but I haven't gotten a copy because they sold out of it at Comic Con, which is also great. This one is, as Number 1 was, written by Dale Lazarov and drawn by Steve MacIsaac, one of my most favorite artists of all time. So, I'm not going to dwell too much on what's in here because it's pretty much two men having sex, except there's no sex at all for the first 10 pages, there's a real story here. It's a sweet little story and there's lots of sex in the second 10 pages to more than make up for it, and it ends very romantically with one man bringing the other flowers and a six-pack of beer, which I really like. There's also another little story at the end, which is just 4 pages which is called "Too Drunk to Fuck," which is exactly what it is, and it's kind of cute and funny. So I highly recommend this; I can't wait to get Issue 3.

More what I wanted to talk about was why I think these comics are so important: as far as I know, there are the only really nice, sex-positive gay male comics that are out there. I haven't seen any others -- God knows I've looked for them -- but I actually cannot remember any others that are realistic. I know there are some gay superhero stuff that's out there and a few others that are more in the realm of fantasy, but this the only one that really gets to real people in real relationships. And I'm glad that Eros is publishing it, the reason I'm glad that Eros is publishing it because, in general, I really hate Eros.

Eros is a division of Fantagraphics and I would say 99.9 percent of what they publish makes me cringe and run screaming. Like, I can't even look at the splash page of their website because it offends me so much. Here's a selection of some of the titles from Eros, just to give you an idea of what they publish. So they have eight new theme anthologies from Eros, the first one is called "Blow Job," the second one's called "Dildo," they have another one called "Foot-Licker," there's one called "Head," there's one called "Kama Sutra," there's one called "Menage a Trois," there's one called "Pee Soup" (guess what that's about), and the last one is called "Rear Entry," isn't that nice? And the one I got (Fantagraphics gave us some free ones) is called "Menage a Trois," and it's really not what I would consider sex-positive with a very few exceptions. My buddy, Molly Kiely, has some stuff in here which is really nice. Eros, under Fantagraphics, publishes a bunch of stuff that Molly did -- "Diary of a Dominatrix" and "Saucy Little Tart" are two of her series -- which I love to death. I think Molly is a wonderful wonderful artist; I think she does do some sexy stuff in a very positive and fun way, and she's like the "one," besides the stuff the Hernandez Brothers did, they did "Birdland," which is a selection of kind of "Love and Rockets" alternative universe stuff, some of the same characters are in it, but in a very different and weird way. And I like their stuff, too, it's also very fun and positive.

But most of the other (Eros) stuff is horrible. I think it's degrading to women, I know that whatever floats your boat is fine, but I can't even look at this stuff because it just sends shivers down my spine sometimes. And the bondage stuff, I just can't even think about it.

So I think that they (Eros) needs to have more sex positive stuff, because there should be more of it out there. And there are enough good artists out there who can draw the kind of stuff that's interesting, that women can pick up and look at, whether it's gay porn or lesbian porn or whatever, so you can look at it and it doesn't totally creep you out, I guess, is the way I would like it to be. I would like to have (more) erotic comics that don't creep me out. So whatever we can do to change the point of view on that would be nice. It's funny that pornographic comics are something that a lot of people buy but nobody really talks about very much. Like, Eros is making a huge amount of money for Fantagraphics, this I know, and you never see these comics really promoted anywhere, you hardly even see them when you're at someplace like Comic Con, and Fantagraphics has their booth set up. Sometimes they have the little adult section set off and they even have this curtain in front of it, which to me is amusing as hell. It's like you're at the bookstore with the dirty section at the back of the video store when they used have the Adults Only and there was a tattered sheet you had to sneak through to go look at the filthy stuff. And even in regular comic shops, there's like this little room where they keep the dirty things, and I never see these things written about, I never see them reviewed, I never see artists mentioning this stuff with pride, like, "Yeah, I draw these pornographic comics and I'm really proud of it, it's some of my best work." Who says that? Nobody ever says that, except somebody like Molly Kiely because it is some of her best work and she's not ashamed of it. You just don't see people promoting it as something they want to be known for, and I think that should change. I think people should be drawing smutty comics that they can be proud of, that they can put out there, and say, "Look! The is great! This celebrates all sorts of human beings in a positive way, no matter what it is they're doing in there. It makes people happy and it makes them feel good about sex. That's the way I think it should be.

And I'd be curious to know what everybody else thinks about that, too. I know that you all buy dirty comics, somebody must be buying them, and I know that if you're a comic book geek, I'm sure you're buying them. And I mean the really filthy ones, too, not just the ones that come from Image, and not that crap like "Stryke Force" I talked about before. So let's get a dialogue going on dirty comics and let's get Eros to publish some more positive stuff. One other thing I wanted to say about "Sticky," is that, Number 3, which again is done by Dale Lazarov and Steve MacIsaac, is out, it's the last one that the two of them are doing, and I think it would be great if, somehow, there could be this groundswell of support for Eros to keep "Sticky" going with other artists to do the same sort of thing. To have these real human stories, in a really positive way, that they could sell. The fact that "Sticky" Number 3 was sold out at Comic Con was great; it really made me happy. There's a "Sticky" mailing list that Dale Lazarov runs that has like 300 plus members. So, I'm actually going to write to Dale and say, "Hey, you guys should be trying to organize people to have more of this happen."

***

Sequential Tart had the above image on their interview with Dale Lazarov and Steve MacIsaac in the July 2005 issue. We thank them, because we sure couldn't find it at the Eros website. ED

Replies: 1 Comment

It *may* be the last issue of STICKY for Eros -- they haven't offered us a contract for more issues -- but it's not going to be the last issue of STICKY.

Steve has scripts for four more 24-page issues as well as a script for a 64-page original graphic novel.

I'm also collaborating on 48 pages of gay erotic comics with Drubskin. It has a title but I'm keeping mum; it's more carnality and sweetness but it's between men with more of an alternative culture flavor than STICKY's men.

Posted by Dale Lazarov @ 08/12/2005 07:22 PM PST

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