Dec 14, 2016
The 40 Years of Comics Project - The Weekly Graphic Novel: Week 32 - That Kind of Girl, 1999
When I had my comic store, I used to contend that if you came in and spent a bit of time talking to me, I could 100% find a comic that you would enjoy. Bear in mind, this was 15 years ago, when there was still a lot, or a lot more, rhetoric around comics not actually being "real" reading.
I still stick to this, but I've further refined my contention such that, if I know a person really well, I'll be able to find a comic of any genre that that person would enjoy. Today's comic, a rather lovely and remarkable erotic story, is just such a work. I read this, and immediately knew that this was just the kind of naughty story that my wife would enjoy. I gave it to her, and I was right.
When I've done weeks of reading erotic comics, I try to distinguish between the erotic and the pornographic. I recently bought a large collection of Eros, Eurotica, and such, enough to fill up a shelf in my library, and there's a wide range of titles that straddle that line, as well as a whole bunch that fall on either side. And I think both have their place, though I have less trouble with the pornographic, which I equate with the exploitative (not necessarily in a denigrating manner, but in a less-exploratory manner than erotica) when presented as comics. Exploitative live action porn always runs the risk of being damaging to those involved if the exploitation is done out of negative emotion rather than positive emotion.
Anyway, Molly Kiely is not exploiting anyone. All the characters in this story have agency, have choice, and exercise that choice to have excellent, excellent sex. Perhaps the difference between erotica and porn is that erotica conveys a greater sense of sex positivity in contrast to porn's exploitation. I'll have to think about this a bit more.
Which won't be hard (pun intended), as I have the aforementioned shelf of dirty comics now! Expect a few more over the coming (again, pun intended) weeks.