Art by Alex Barry.
Josie and the Pussycats were sexy for cartoons, but they were a fairly chaste trio — too shy to appear in full-frontal shower scenes. What would they have thought of Tijuana Bibles, the genre of comic-book pamphlets (circa 1930s), described by Pulitzer-winning graphic novelist Art Spiegelman (Maus), in an introductory essay to the 2004 anthology Tijuana Bibles: Art and Wit in America’s Forbidden Funnies, 1930s-1950s, as “cheerfully pornographic and downright illegal . . . they seem to marvel at the very idea of sex”?
Today, explicit sex still thrives in underground comics and graphic novels, and the Washington Street Art Center (WSAC) is taking a close look at the genre with an exhibit titled “Inappropriate Touching: Dirty Comics and Art,” opening Friday. The show includes works from more than 20 contributors, including Whatever artist Karl Stevens, Vice magazine back-page creator Johnny Ryan, autobiographical comic artist Ariel Schrag, and Chicago Comics artist Jeffrey Brown.
“I see this as a sort of celebration of the medium’s stranger histories,” says local artist Alex Barry. One of his contributions to the show is a drawing of a smiling animal of uncertain species, standing with one hand down his pants beside the words “Please don’t judge me.”
“I’ll admit that there’s some pretty twisted stuff in there, but my aim isn’t to offend anybody. It’s more like poking fun at our right-leaning culture through irreverent wit,” explains Barry.
Read more here.
Also, I met Lisa Loeb.