Shea and Derek are back for their September manga episode. (Yeah, yeah. We know it’s the beginning of October, but the guys were a little late getting last month’s show recorded.) This time they discuss two intriguing titles, each quite different one from the other. They begin with the inaugural issue of Vérité, a new anthology series out of India featuring classic alternative manga as well as contributions from contemporary Indian artists that have a gekiga feel to them. The guys were glad to see work from Tadao Tsuge, Susumu Katsumata, and Youji Tsuneyama, but they were also taken by fresh Indian voices such as those of Anpu Varkey, Shaunak Samvatsar, Nandita Basu, and Bharath Murthy, Vérité‘s editor. After that, Shea and Derek discuss Cutie Honey: The Classic Collection, by Go Nagai. This is another one of Seven Seas Entertainment’s nice hardbound collections of classic 1970s manga, other titles including Captain Harlock and Devilman. The guys emphasize Cutie Honey as a representative kind of shonen manga for its time, but they spend most of the time discussing the, at times discomforting, sexual or erotic nature of Go Nagai’s creation. What was written for a particular audience back in the 1970s may come across as gratuitous or even offensive to more contemporary readers. But both Derek and Shea point out that, despite the erotic weirdness apparent at times, the story is engaging and worth revisiting.
As long as there has been erotic reading material, there have been people trying to make it harder to find. We might have expected that the brave new world of the Internet was going to make everything accessible to everyone whenever they wanted it, but as it becomes more controlled by certain big corporations, the situation has become more complicated. Our friends John Roberson and Dale Lazarov have both found that they seem to have more trouble with digital versions of their erotic (or even just semi-erotic) work getting pulled from digital comics stores than they’ve had with the print versions of their work!
So this week we hear from both of them about the issues they’ve faced, and then for the big picture, we’ll consult British author Tim Pilcher, whose two-volume history of erotic comics includes the work of both John and Dale! Tim discusses the ongoing problems for erotic comics in digital distribution, including seemingly capricious and inconsistent removals of some erotic works; the limitations to what the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund can do; and what both creators AND fans of these works can do to keep them available!