Comics Stripped, a new exhibit at the Museum of Sex here in NYC, opens today. Comics historian Craig Yoe (Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster, Clean Cartoonists’ Dirty Drawings) is serving as co-curator.
From simple titillation to hardcore representations, comics have a long history of incorporating humor, scandal, fantasy and fun with sex. Originally used as a form of amusement and satire intended for adults, the societal perception of comics as wholesome entertainment geared toward children has made the inclusion of sexual content particularly jarring for portions of the general public.
In recent years, comics have transformed from entertainment to a potent and dynamic form of art, at times subversive, and worthy of academic investigation. Through the fusion of text and images, sex comics can tell a humorous erotic narrative with the use of familiar icons as well as construct sexual encounters, acts and personas that cannot exist in reality, constrained only by the illustrator’s imagination.
In showcasing the coquettish to the most sexually explicit “dirty drawings,” Comics Stripped will examine the history and cultural significance of the images, icons and illustrators that have entertained, educated (as well as equally misinformed) on the basics of sex and created a realm of sexual fantasy unlimited by the constraints of reality for generations.
The Museum is located at 233 Fifth Avenue (corner of 27th St.).