The webcomics blog about webcomics

Dual Natures

Did you notice this bit at The AV Club, about web features that made the jump to books? It’s in the writeup of Garfield Minus Garfield:

So many webcomics eventually get collected into book form that we decided to leave webcomics as a whole off this list […]

Now I may be a hack pseduo-journalist, but I remember hearing once that in a newspapery context, you don’t use a term without defining it, unless you’re absolutely certain that every member of your audience knows what you’re talking about. I guess that means that we’re ubiquitous now. Keen.

Also ubiquitous on the internets: Porn. Stick with me, I’m going somewhere with this. There’s a particularly schizophrenic approach to sexuality in this country — culture high and low utilizes sex as its lingua franca, but we’re taught from a young age that sex is bad, dirty, nasty, and if done outside of the sacred bond of marriage, will blow your legs off. And judging by the joyless parade of moisture that characterizes most porn, I’m not surprised.

True story: I once stayed in a hotel with a flaw in its in-room movie system; near as I could tell, anytime anybody on my floor ordered a movie, it showed up on one of five channels on my TV (my fellow travellers have terrible taste, by the way — that many people paying for Pauly Shore movies?). I could generally catch about 45 minutes of a feature before somebody else entered an order and displaced the current offering, but all the porn movies were on the same channel. No displacement there — on average, eight minutes after the feature started, the screen would go gray and stay that way until the next order came in. My interpretation — whoever ordered the porn was done with it and turned the channel off; insert obligatory David Bowie lyrics here.

But the real punchline? That major hotel chain, family-run by nice, God-fearing people, almost certainly makes more money off porn than anybody named Hefner or Flynt. And it’s not even fun to watch, much less amusing or (heaven forfend) funny.

Which, in my typically roundabout way, is why I was so happy to receive the following announcement the other day:

Beginning November 15th 2008, and Studio Zoe, in conjunction with Studio Foglio, are proud to announce that we will be featuring for all of our customers, the works of Xxxenophile by artist and writer Phil Foglio. Xxxenophile is a six volume masterpiece originally released between 1988 and 2000, and has been acclaimed for it’s skillful storytelling as well as beautiful artwork. Xxxenophile has also been nominated for an Eisner award – a great honor for any book in the industry.

These books, brought to you by the wonderful folks at Studio Foglio, will soon be available for a digital purchase at

For those of you not familiar with it, XXXenophile was an occasional comic book series by Phil Foglio, a gentleman of the highest calibre, who knows that legitimately funny porn can only improve one’s life (indeed, reports abound of Foglio wearing a “Gentleman Pornographer” nametag on the convention circuit during XXXenophile’s run).

If you’re of the oh-no-I-couldn’t variety, just consider the covers that Foglio designed for the series — my favorite featured a mostly-naked young woman lounging in bed covered in model skycrapers and pagodas while her eager young paramour zipped himself into a Godzilla suit. The imagination would certain lead you from that image towards the prurient, but only after a hearty laugh-chuckle. Hell, I’ll go so far as to say that no matter how serious Foglio gets, the sweet release of laughter is only a page or too away (and if you think that the faces you make during the other kind of sweet release aren’t worthy of a smirk or two, I’ve got a bridge to sell you). Go check out XXXenophile — it’s good, clean (dirty) fun.

  • Speaking of triple-Xs, Xaviar Xerexes would like you to know that he’s got a domain up for grabs:

    Fright Night began as a big cross-promotional webcomic effort in 1999 and continued in that vein for a couple of years (I took over the organization of it in 2000). Later on, I used the site for “events” sponsored by ComixTalk. More recently it’s been fairly dormant.

    I am never going to have time to properly use the URL and I’d love to see someone else use it. The only hitch is I want to see the existing archives of past events stay up at the URL but otherwise I’m open to ideas on its future use.

    Follow the link for your chance at stewardship.

  • Who doesn’t like gallery shows chock full o’ animatin’ talent? Communists and Nazis, that’s who. And even they would love what class act Carly Monardo‘s up to:

    The show, called “Too Art For TV 3“, is curated by Venture Bros. Color Supervisor/BG Painter Liz Artinian, and features non-industry work from people in the animation biz. ([website] still under construction; artist bios are in the process of being edited).

    Fleen will be doing its (our? my? gotta work out these pronouns sometime … ) best to be there and bring you a report. In the meantime, make your plans for Friday, Dec 5 at 6pm.

[…] Fleen: Home Of The Webcomics Action News Team! » Dual NaturesNov 18, 2008 … My interpretation — whoever ordered the porn was done with it and turned … porn can only improve one’s life (indeed, reports abound of Foglio … […]

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