Many comics fans like to think of our preferred medium as an insurgent to popular media, but in truth it’s in many ways nothing more than a leg of the same chair. In both comics and media as a whole violence has increasingly become an accepted form of “artistic” expression while the topic of sexuality is still relegated to the backrooms. There have been the hints of a possible sea change coming as publishers like Image and Oni challenge the status quo by not shying away from sexually provocative content while at the same time becoming the new standard-bearers of what mainstream companies should be adding to their superhero formulas. Still, there’s a thick jungle and our machetes are dull, so some of the most progressive and interesting stories addressing sexuality and gender are found at zine conventions, online, or often relegated to a comic book store’s “local creator” pander pile (“Do we carry local creators? Of course, just go dig through that unorganized pile in the very back of the store! We love local creators! Can we recommend one? No, but, um, hey, have you read Saga?“).
If you live in the Bay Area finding comics about sexuality, gender, and erotica will be much easier on July 13. For the second year in a row San Francisco’s Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission Street, will be hosting Bookish Beasts which is an effort to “expand the audiences of local zine and comic artists who make sexy books.” Over the last month CSC has been highlighting some of the publishers and artists who will be in attendance on their blog (warning: NSFW). Based on what’s highlighted in the posts it’s sure to be a provocative and fun event. It may even be the right level of smutty. More details:
Where: The Center for Sex and Culture at 1349 Mission Street
Date: July 13
Time: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.