Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Erotic Comics ban threat... and news of volume 2

Tim Pilcher's Erotic Comics: A Graphic History, Volume 1: From Birth to the 1970s book has been banned by Australian customs from entering the country. Customs have demanded that a special large sticker with an "M" on it must be placed on the cover—indicating that the book is for “Mature Readers”—otherwise the books will be prevented from being sold in Australia. Tim Pilcher said, “I find it ludicrous and risible that the Australian authorities need a big sticker to point out the book is for ‘adults only’. Surely the word ‘Erotic’ in the title gives it away? Perhaps they got confused with the word ‘Comics’ and couldn’t believe that adults read sequential literature!”

The second volume in the series (pictured above) is due to be published on 8 January 2009 in the UK (the American edition is to be released by Abrams ComicArts on 1 March), picking up where the first volume left off, revealing how European, American and Asian artists have explored the possibility of the form in the years since the explosion of the Sixties’ underground comix.

Erotic Comics: A Graphic History, Volume 2 examines how the form has become an international publishing phenomenon by showcasing artwork that has inflamed desires, incensed censors, and caused controversy. This provocative title covers everything: the erotic comics explosion in America in the mid-’80s; the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender comics scene; UK and European erotic comic creators since the 70s; and the Japanese hentai phenomenon. The future of erotic comics online is also explored in this fascinating and surprising volume.
In the first survey of its kind in over 20 years, volume 2 completes this fascinating two-part chronicle with previously unpublished, rare and out-of-print material, featuring insights from key artists, editors, and publishers. Fully illustrated with stunning, rare and seldom-seen art by Howard Cruse, Gengoroh Tagame, Melinda Gebbie, Hunt Emerson, Howard Chaykin, Giovanna Casotto (whose work graces the cover), Tom of Finland, Milo Manara, Junko Mizuno, and many other top erotic cartoonists. The informative text provides a sexy, intriguing, and entertaining tour through the origins of an often-overlooked art form and comic book genre.

And, to cap it all, there's an introduction by Alan Moore.

Erotic Comics: A Graphic History, Volume 2: From the 1970s to the Present Day. Ilex Books 978-1905814374, 8 January 2009.


  1. This is absurd - if you ask me censorship is rising everywhere and we're sleepwalking towards a grim future.

  2. It's also a bit odd. I was on holiday in Sydney a couple of years ago and bought Alan Moore's(then unavailable in the UK) 'Lost Girls' there, which is pretty explicit - and there weren't any advisory stickers on that.

  3. A sticker on the cover is censorship? Wow.

    This has been the law in Australia for decades, so its hardly on the rise. Lost Girls probably should have been submitted for review and would have recieved a sticker too.

  4. But by that logic Dalek, all books should be submitted for review.

  5. According to the Office of Film and Literature Classification (i.e our Censors), the only books that need to be submitted are:

    Only "submittable publications" must be classified before they can be sold, distributed or advertised in Australia. A submittable publication contains depictions or descriptions that:

    (a) are likely to cause the publication to be classified RC, or
    (b) are likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult to the extent that the publication should not be sold or displayed as an unrestricted publication, or
    (c) are unsuitable for a minor to see or read

  6. So, Opinion Dalek, who in the first place decides what is "likely" to cause offence, what is "a reasonable adult", and so on?

    The system you outline relies on personal opinions and is clearly fraught with contention and complication. Is unworkable, in fact.

    I agree very much with the first comment here, from Archavist.

  7. Unworkable? We should just let minors be exposed to pornography? What country in the world allows that? Wake up to the real world Chap!

    Of course it is fraught with contention. All subjective decisions are, but that doesn't make it unworkable, it merely highlights interesting discussion on cases that are on the borderline, like this one.

  8. Here we go again! Another person who thinks we should all have to act in loco parentis for the rest of the world's kids.

    Well, I believe I am awake to the real world.

    The trouble -- and you don't seem to realize it -- is that even your seemingly reasonable "borderline cases" are just a matter of opinion. One man's/woman's "borderline" is another's "hardcore".

    A system like you describe is open to abuse by extremists from both sides . . . and I'm reluctant to say even that, because one person's "extremist" is another --

    No, it just isn't worth going on. We've all got far better things to do than playing censors or champions for censors.

  9. Censorship, political correctness, etc is destroying individualism and turning us all into bland Mr Smiths. As for the pornography point - Of course hard core porn should not be available to children - but that's not what these book are. And don't forget earlier societies thought Lady Chatterly was porn, once upon the time the British Carry On movies were considered racy.The people who make these rules are middle class dullards who should be censored themselves under the 2008 monotony act.

    These erotic comics are in no way porn and the WARNING sticker not only insults the intelligence of the reader but it also speaks volumes for the people who dream up such stickers. EROTIC COMICS - there's a clue to the content in the title.

  10. fucking whinging sooks they are.



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