Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Rant-Reviews: Cheesecake Appreciation

Why Not?
I have previously expressed an appreciation for publishers such as Boundless and other companies who put out cheesecake-styled comics (e.g. comic-books with sexy artwork) with a self-aware wink. We as a society (when we aren't being prudish) of course enjoy sexy illustrations of the human body and comic-books at times can provide that. With this in mind, I thought it might be fun to review some comics that don't hesitate to provide anything from a little pin-up art to ones that can be surprisingly detailed in their drawings of human genitalia. Oh, and note that it is hard to find much Cheesecake of men but it is out there, it just is less common so I don't really touch upon it in these reviews as I couldn't find any lately (whenever a, "Gambit," comic is coming out he seems to shower a lot though).

Sexy Reads
Amerikarate #7
This comic has been one big funny spoof of various 1970's and 1980's movies and all the over-the-top elements found within them. Whether riffing on, "Footloose," "Death Wish," or in this issue, "Robocop," the comic always manages to have immense bloodshed and usually at least one sex scene. Also, there are various covers each issue and there is always one variant (which also seem to be the more popular variants in terms of aftermarket sales) every month featuring adult film actress and known nerd April O'Neil (that Twitter is NOT safe for work) in various cosplay outfits that relate to the issue.

 These books are always good dumb fun, with the film references being subtle and well-incorporated enough that it isn't just an annoying game of, "Let's shout-out various things that make people nostalgic and act like that's funny!" Plus, I mean, this issue draws from the classic, "Robocop," so how can you wrong? "Amerikarate," isn't super cheesecakey outside of some of those April O'Neil variants and some suggestive scenes but it is hilarious so I would encourage anyone with a fondness for humorous titles check it out. Purchase issues on eBay, on MyComicShop, or from Things From Another World.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

VS: Vamps Vs Wolves #2
My good friends at ComicsHeatingUp had a post about this cool self-published book and I eagerly bought it on the interwebs from creator Scott Blair. The story involves a long-running feud between Vampires and Werewolves who had an uneasy truce that has fallen apart--and to add to the complications there are hunters of the supernatural present to disrupt everything too! Blair's pin-up style artwork evokes a strong 1950's sensibility with his curvy women and the cheeky way he covers-up the naughtiest bits of characters to keep things PG-13-ish in terms of flesh shown (plenty of blood and swearing occurs, however). The comic reminds me of those classic cheeky horror-movies you would see at the drive-in full of innuendo and excessive blood-effects, and that my friends is a good thing. I would recommend picking-up the first two issues that have come out so far from Blair's store on eBay and I know I'm looking forward to issue #3!
5 out of 5 stars.

Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #106
"Tarot," is of course the long-running book from creators Jim Balent and Holly Golightly they put out via their publisher, Broadsword comics. Featuring the adventures of titular witch, Tarot, the books often will jump around in theme and tones, sometimes being more about Wicca and the supernatural, other times joking about super-heroes, and always looking great thanks to Balent's decades of comic-experience making his artwork fantastic (with Golightly's lettering and fantastic color-work being the metaphorical cherry on top).

This issue follows Tarot, her sister Raven, friend-and-lover Boo Cat, and husband Jon as they fight against a Halloween spirit that is turning the residents of the town of Salem where they live into all kinds of monstrous creatures in an effort to spread the Halloween mood. It's a good yarn and works-in some funny jokes about the trials of Trick-or-Treating too that anyone who ever has gone door-to-door in an effort to get candy to relate to (we've all had the religious holy-rollers scold us about this evil holiday and make us wonder why they even leave their lights on if they're just going to be unpleasant).

The cheesecake element comes-in where Tarot and her friends often aren't especially clothed and even when they are various things occur that put them in states of undress. I mean, the comic has a half-naked witch fighting werewolves and works in a message about not making assumptions about people (like why do witches need to be green in many stories, seriously, why?), so what's not to like? Should you want to pick-up this or any other issue of, "Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose," Things From Another World, eBay, and MyComicShop all are stellar resources.
5 out of 5 stars.

Lookers: Ember #2
If some of these books have featured suggestive artwork or tasteful nudity, then "Lookers: Ember," is admittedly just straight-up raunch. As I've talked about in the past however, it is smart and self-aware raunch, so I can't help but like it. While the other comics maybe give us the equivalent of R-rated love-making scenes, "Lookers: Ember," flirts with being outright an outright porn-comic if it did't also have a good deal of plot, action scenes, and admittedly interesting ideas you wouldn't expect in a cheesecake comic. The general plot has meshed another property from the publisher (Boundless), incorporating their hero-esque character, "Ember," and having her seek out the private detectives known as, "Lookers," who work to help women victimized by men online--a topic that continues to be relevant.

It seems her cell-phone was stolen and features a sex-tape of her and a politician. Us readers see a group of Men's Right Activist-types have it and plan to sell it to embarrass Ember and show women they need to, "Respect their place," so yes, we are getting a comic that is a strange marriage of porny-sex and weirdly topical themes of feminism and how men troll women online. There are some drug dealers involved too who have an interest in the tape that may relate more to the politician than super-hero Ember and it is all interesting, well-illustrated, and to top it off features some really graphic sex-scenes just to ensure everyone is getting entertained. "Lookers: Ember," probably won't be winning any awards in the comic's biz but it is a damn well done book. It may be a guilty-pleasure styled read, but its good stuff, and I believe the third issue is released tomorrow! You can get yourself a copy on eBay, or Things From Another World.
5 out of 5 stars.

That Was Fun
Well, these books maybe aren't the most high-brown or fancy, but it sure was fun to read and review them!

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