5 Oct

by Mike Hansen

I got the heads-up on a new erotic-comix anthology that debuted at APE last weekend, and it is GLORIOUS (Glory-hole-ous?).

Thickness #2 is a gorgeous package that lives up to its name. It contains two-color stories by some amazing cartoonists, most of which I was unfamiliar with, but I’m glad I am now, because this comic is wall-to-wall Awesome. Seeing several different stories, in radically different styles, was like mainlining Real Comix after several weeks of mostly reading tame superhero fare.

Brandon Graham Thickness 2 p 1-2

Brandon Graham's story "Dirty Deeds" spreads for us

Co-publisher Michael DeForge does a sweet front cover and a lovely, twisted story about gender called “College Girl by Night.” It reminds me of the more unusual and adult manga I’d occasionally see in Afternoon magazine, back when I was a manga editor. DeForge has a clean, minimalist style that blends well with his pacing and writing. I’m looking forward to seeing more from him.

The stories generally have a calm, quiet, almost detached feeling about them, approaching their ideas about sex in a slightly removed or distant fashion. Angie Wang has a short, beautiful strip that captures the feelings, both beautiful and silly, around the act of lovemaking. Mickey Zacchilli’s “Slime Worm” (also manga-influenced in tone and zip-a-tone) is a bizarre, dreamy journey about a girl and her strange companion through an unreal world; it reads and feels like walking through a dream, in all the best ways. Lisa Hanawalt’s “Early Bird” is a great gag story featuring several wonderful fetishes including anthropomorphic play and teacher-student fantasy. Naughty!

But the main attraction for me, and the reason I searched this book out, is a 10-page Dirty Pair parody strip by Brandon Graham (of King City and Multiple Warheads fame, among others). Graham is the shiznit here, putting a level of detail and love into every bit of every page, like his influences Masamune Shirow and Adam Warren. This story finally brings the “dirty” in Dirty Pair that could only be found in underground doujinshi, and Graham’s love letter to these comics is, like all of his work, something to Pay Attention To. Most of Graham’s work is notoriously difficult to find, so I recommend grabbing this while you can – this strip is worth the cover price all by itself.

Get your parents’ permission, and buy Thickness #2 today.

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