Love bits

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Answer

Hurrah! It's time again for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, where we slavering geeks get a chance to rub shoulders with the timorous glitterati of this newly respectable art form. For your consideration, some esteemed guests in the adult genre:

Anke Feuchtenberger is the artist behind W the Whore and W the Whore Makes Her Tracks. Feuchtenberger's work is cunningly dramatic in the way that all German Expressionism is. I'm not sure it's so sex-worker positive but she co-founded the group Glowing Future, which carried out political actions through public art in East Berlin before the Wall fell, so no doubt there's some important metaphor for oppression that legitimizes the squalid lead character.

There's absolutely no question, though, that I'm completely fucking blown away by the collection that Craig Yoe compiled and curated of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster's fetish art, called Secret Identity. The artist behind a more heroic and pristine image of America drew regularly for a sordid publication called Nights of Horror, a copy of which Yoe found in the back of a used bookstore a few years ago. Though the illustrations were unsigned, Yoe immediately knew Shuster was behind them and managed to compile the whole collection. Cruel, pneumatic lesbians, merciless seamen, vise-­wielding illuminati types, pot, heroin, lecherous old men, fedora-sporting necrophiliacs, rapacious ethnics... truly some of the most visceral fetish material I've ever seen. Anyone who is a fan of the original Superman will thrill to see his and Lois Lane's images besmirched in the kinds of sadomasochistic scenes that were the underpinnings of McCarthy-era America. For more details on the festival, happening this weekend, go to www.torontocomics.com/tcaf.

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