Adult Comics for Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans
© Luke Arnott 2009–2011
Eroticism has long been a part of the science fiction and fantasy genres, especially in comic books. Adult comics with fantastic and bizarre creatures or weird, futuristic technology are quite common – even though not all are worth reading.
However, there are a number of well-written and -illustrated sci-fi and fantasy comics of this sort that would make unique gift ideas for the significant others of comics fans. Here is a sampling.
Adult Comics From Magazines Like Heavy Metal
Many high-profile adult comics are featured in the American magazine Heavy Metal (inspired by Métal Hurlant, its French precursor). One of the most popular in Heavy Metal has been the Druuna series, by Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri. The stories "Morbus Gravis," "Morbus Gravis 2," "Creatura," "Carnivora," "Mandragora," "Aphrodisia," "The Forgotten Planet," and "Clone," were all published in Heavy Metal, and are also available in separate hardcover editions that make interesting gifts.
However, a comics fan might appreciate getting a story in its original magazine publication. Sometimes these can be collector's items, if the story has a significant creator, but is not republished elsewhere.
For instance, Penthouse Comix (now defunct) featured a serialized story in 1994 drawn by comics master Kevin Nowlan. In "Scion," written by George Caragonne, genetically-engineered Soviet children begin to realize their super-powered potential in the wake of the USSR's collapse.
Though "Scion" was never finished, it gives Nowlan fans a unique insight into the artist's later career. The super-powered prostitute Andra, to cite one example, bears a striking resemblance to Kara, a character in Nowlan's Superman/Aliens from 1995.
The Comics of Michael Manning
Those looking for more risqué gifts might appreciate the adult comics of Michael Manning. His work often features intricate tableux and creatures recalling mythological monsters. Manning's clean, black-and-white style is heavily influenced by Japanese woodcuts, and is reminiscent of out-of-the-mainstream western artists from Aubrey Beardsley to H. R. Giger.
Manning's books include full graphic novels like The Spider Garden, Hydrophidian, In a Metal Web, and In a Metal Web II. There are also collections of his shorter work available, such as Cathexis and Lumenagerie. Manning's latest is the second volume of his Tranceptor series, with Patrick Conlon.
The Fantasy Comics of Richard Moore
The adult comics of Richard Moore may be appealing to fans of pure fantasy and humor. Moore's rounded, cartoonish style often centers on fantasy archetypes (though with a decidedly adult twist), with characters such as "M'Lady," a promiscuous princess. Moore's lighthearted stories are also known for featuring "furries," anthropomorphic animal characters.
Richard Moore's comics collections, such as Short Strokes 1 and 2, mix equal parts furries and fantasy, as well as some science fiction and monster-movie parody. But, like the other comics described above, Moore's cheerful cartoons are nonetheless definitely not for kids.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Comics for All Tastes
Comics that add sensuality to genres like fantasy and science fiction come in many varieties, from the conventional sci-fi adventures of Serpieri's Druuna series, to the darker or lighter side of offbeat obsessions, as shown by Michael Manning and Richard Moore. Even mainstream artists, such as Kevin Nowlan, have drawn notable comics for mature readers.
It's likely, therefore, that there's a grown-up science fiction or fantasy comic for any taste, whether shopping for oneself, or for a geeky special someone. There are even adult comics for fans of literature and history.