Monday, July 23, 2012

ADULT ONLY Post: EROTIC COMICS: The Good and Bad with Creating Them!

(FYI, if you are reading this on my goodreads' blog come on over to the Fantasy Floozie Blog! For some reason, the picture and text formating doesn't translate to goodreads well.)

I have a Kindle Fire. So one night, I'm strolling Amazon searching for some cool comics and graphic novels to put on my device.


I see Little Lorna:

I bought all three and read them.

Granted this type of comic isn't for everybody, but I thought the books were funny.

I immediatly contacted the author. I just had to know what inspired him to create this hilarious series.

So here's the interview with Julio Sinope the creator of the Little Lorna series!

Thanks for dropping by!
The Little Lorna series is a really fun read. Why did you decide to create the books?

Sinope:Thanks.  I'm glad you enjoyed it.  I'm never quite sure if readers would find her adventures a fun read or see it as some sort of sexual exploitation. 

I've been drawing this character for about five years now in a few small five page comics and one day my brother bought me a Kindle.  I've always been a fan of erotic comics and I found the offerings on the Kindle store not quite to my liking as they were mostly frame captures of anime cartoons or comic books with almost unreadable text. 

I guess I figured there may be hole in the kindle market that Little Lorna could fit in if I re-imagined the traditional comic format to suit the Kindle's unique reading format.  Traditional panels make the text and graphics almost unreadable so everything needs to be created with the low resolution of the screen in mind. 

I don't want to get too technical here but the Kindle only displays 16 levels of grey and has a screen resolution lower than most smart phones.  The line work, shading and text needs to be tailored to the screen.  However, the Kindle also has a unique "page flipping" that you don't get when reading a comic on paper.  Since the panels are flipped rather than scanned (as with traditional comic books), it gives you an opportunity to almost animate some panels to tell the story.

What do you think are some of the difficulties with publishing erotic comics?
 Sinope:There seems to be a wide grey area in erotic literature when it comes to the difference between "erotica" and "porn."  When it comes to comics, the grey area is much narrower and constrained.  For example, in erotic literature the writer can mention and describe a man's genitalia and penetration however, when depicted in graphical form, it suddenly crosses deep into the category of "porn."

As the definition of "porn" in the eyes of Amazon is "we'll know it when we see it" one never knows when one has crossed the line.  Unfortunately, I apparently crossed the line a few times in their eyes and had books pulled down.  In Amazon's eyes, I'm a shady smut dealer who is trying to sneak something past their porn net however, I am just learning by trial and error as to what is allowed and forbidden since there are no guidelines spelled out anywhere. 

A book can be accepted as erotica one day and a month later, the same book gets pulled down for being "porn."   It is very frustrating.  Its like being invited to a potluck dinner for people with severe allergies only they don't tell you what the allergies are.  If you get lucky everyone goes home with a with a full stomach. . .if you're unlucky, everyone goes home with their stomach pumped!


What do you think are some of the benefits with publishing erotic comics?

Sinope:   I'm not sure if there are any benefits other than if one is an unskilled writer but a decent artist, you get a little more latitude in the eyes of the reader.  I'm not sure if I can eloquently write a pretty setting or describe a women's wild excitement well enough through words but pictures are worth more than a thousand words in my limited cave man vocabulary.  So I guess my 80 page comics are actually over 80,000 words in length?  What a deal!  Erotic literature that rivals "War And Peace!"

I guess the most obvious advantage is that all guys partake in viewing adult material.  I read a survey done that gave me a chuckle.  They were studying what percentage of men have viewed adult content.  It came back 100.00%.  That means every man (plus or minus a slight margin of error) has viewed porn.  Your dad, the gentry, the mailman, your accountant, your grandfather, the crossing guard, Pres. Barak Obama, Steve Jobs, Dr. Phil. 

You can pretty much assume every man you have met, heard of or seen has intentionally viewed adult material.  Although it is a secretive sort of genre, it is a pretty wide audience. 

Do you plan on doing other types of erotic comics with different main characters?
Sinope: Yes indeed!  Although I am very fond of Little Lorna, I would love to do a period piece like a western or a Victorian age comic or something in the Sci-Fi genre.  I know these have been done to death but I love the erotica done by Von Gotha and Azpiri and there may be a lot of erotic subject matter to explore there. 

The trouble is, that I somehow got it into my head to serialize the comic books and am sort of locked into completing the Little Lorna series before I start on another.  Not that I'm not enjoying drawing Little Lorna's mis-adventures but I suffer from hyper-active creativity and I always like doing new things if it is a new comic series, building furniture, animation, designing cars, fashion, sculpture, webpage design, photography, motorcycle repair, gardening, philosophy ... gah!. 

Its tough to be disciplined when you're an artist but its something I have to learn if I want to continue in this biz.

 I also have some ideas about making erotica in the macabre genre.  Since my drawing style is sort of the  Disneyesque, I think it would be interesting to see how it would translate if the art was lighthearted and cute but the was story dark and twisted.  I'm not sure about this one as I think it would turn off a lot of my readers who like the sexual humor I write into the Little Lorna series.  It may end up being a disaster like Macaulay Culkin playing a psychopath in "The Good Son."  I'll have to think about that one...

How long does it take you to think up a Little Lorna book and then create the artwork?

Sinope:Writing is a long process for me.  It is not that I have the need to meticulous hone each word until it drips like melted chocolate from the page, but more that I can't creatively imagine in a linear fashion as one needs to do when they write. 

I have eight scenes in my head for my next comic "Woman's Work" however the tricky part is putting them in order and wrapping them in an interesting story arch.  I always find it easier for my head to think of the images I would like to create and then wrap a story around them.  Gah!  I may be a "porn" writer after all!
The drawing part comes easy.  At the beginning I'm usually drawing for a couple of hours a day but after a week or so, I'm drawing up to 12 hours.  Not all on the same art but sometimes sketching pages in advance when I get an interesting idea or going though a whole day of inking and shading multiple pages. 

 I imagine that it is an advantage to drawing as opposed to writing as a writer can't write bits of chapter 12, go back to working on chapter four and then polish off chapter 12 again at a later date.  I do have the advantage of roughing out panels far in advance when I get a moment of inspiration and then going back to complete them later on without losing my groove.

 . . .but I digress. . .what was the question again? 
3-4 months

If you want to connect with Julio, check out his links below!


  1. These books look like fun, and a great interview! Looking forward to reading at least one of the books.

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