I love sex comics, and I always have. In some ways, they are my favorite porn. Not Japanese hentai and manga — although they are awesome too! — but sex-themed, 100% pornographic western-style comic books. The French and Italians, traditionally, have made the best (by which I mean filthiest) ones. Fortunately, language is rarely a barrier to “reading” a sex comic. All the best panels are completely comprehensible in any language!
There are probably dozens of reasons to love sex comics, but the three main ones that matter to me are variety, explicitness, and taboo value.
There’s more porn variety among sex comics than in photo/film/video porn (let’s call this “real-people porn”) because it’s a more flexible medium. Just pay an artist (or an artist and some inkers and colorists) to put your vision on paper. From science fiction to noir to steampunk, you can make a porn comic in any genre! To make real-people genre porn — like a sci-fi porn movie — is so expensive, it almost never happens. Or, consider an orgy scene: it’s expensive to film (because multiple performers) but costs little more to draw than any other panel. The bigger an orgy scene gets, the more exponentially expensive it gets to make real-people porn of it. In a sex comic? The panel takes a little longer to draw, costs a few more bucks maybe.
For similar reasons, real-people porn sets aren’t very exotic or visually interesting. Porn is rarely made, say, on an urban street at night with lots of bright lights and flashing signs. There’s no way to justify the expensive of clearing and securing the location, and it’s hard to light and shoot the scene. But in a sex comic, it’s just another panel:
It’s hard for a sex comic to be more explicit than real-people porn in 2018. There’s literally no closeup can you can’t get with a camera these days. But that wasn’t always so! Time was (1970s and 1980s especially) when pornographers “pulled their punches” for fear of obscenity prosecutions, while sex comic publishers (especially in Europe) got away with more. Porn — especially low-budget porn — was often timid. You’d see establishing shots, bare titties, a pussy, a dick, and then a dick in a pussy. They’d show a few pumps, and then slide to the side, showing you mostly heaving butts. Even something as simple as a good blowjob scene was surprisingly rare in porn before the beginning of the 21st century. This sex comic dates from 2002, but you can see why it would be a breath of fresh air in that world:
And finally, a few words about taboos. Sex comics make it easier to break porn taboos, because you don’t need to keep human actors and or employees on a movie set safe and happy. Dark BDSM comics are the biggest beneficiary here; scenes of non-consent are much easier and cheaper to create and (in many jurisdictions anyway) more practical to display and sell. Lots of other things that usually don’t work in filmed porn for practical, legal, ethical, moral, financial, or cleanliness reasons can sometimes be portrayed in a sex comic: a few examples are animals, guns, knives, torture devices, blood, poop, family members, and speeding automobiles.
Once again, the taboos of “normal” porn have relaxed with enormous speed in very recent memory. In 2002, when the sex comic panel below was published, it was very rare for any porn publisher in the United States to film or publish any scene that involved both bondage and sex. That taboo has vanished utterly, and was forgotten in less than a decade. Before it went, though, if bondage sex was your thing, a sex comic was close to being the only visual porn you could find that would satisfy it:
These are just a few of the reasons why I love sex comics!
Image credits: All panels for this post are from the 2002 sex comic Pulp Story, drawn by Cafagna. It is out of print but usually available on eBay or AbeBooks.