Limited, at best (or would that be worst). I'm more prone to self-censor. as soon as I worked for a kids' comedy magazine, more than 25 years ago, the
Your illustrations often depict Naturist Living Show: School Project and How Naturism Supports Feminism . What exactly is it about the naked form which makes you draw it so frequently?
I probably do so less than I used to, because my porn work aside, I typically contain nudity when it is germane to what's going on. But it is just enjoyable. The body is fun to draw.
Given the American sensitivity toward nudity, does this affect your work and what you put into your novels or what you print? Or how or where you publish it?
Yes. In my forthcoming novel, MAXIMUM MINIMUM WAGE(out Spring 2013 from Image Comics), I went in and really toned down some of the more overt, or arguably gratuitous, nudity in hopes of reaching a bigger audience and never scaring away some more old-fashioned retailers. So, yeah, it is a matter you've got to think about. I have a prose novel I Have needed to write set in Hell, and the damned souls are nude in it. My agent really supported me to tone down the nudity in a publication that was only text. I chose not to because that is taking it too far. Additionally , I tabled the publication for now, but for other reasons. But America is quite odd about sex and nudity. It's a society obsessed with the prurient but completely at odds with its own nature.
Well now we have to inquire. Is it more enjoyable to draw male bits or female bits?
Man is more amusing, female is more pleasurable.
Would you think anything should be censored? And where do you draw the line?
Yes. This is getting a bit dark, but anything involving children. But even there I assume circumstance is everything. If you just described some of the stuff they have actually depicted on South Park you might balk. But they can get away with some pretty inappropriate items because they are aces at weighing the scale completely on the comedy. I draw the line occasionally taking into account the marketplace. But in spite of what some individuals might believe, I've only generally calmed down on particular matters. On the other hand, I did tone down Pariah. My first draft got considerably darker and nastier in certain pictures and I pared that back to make it more palatable. Occasionally too much is too much, you know?
Do you feel torn about the self-censorship? Would a better compromise be making a censored version and an uncensored version?
Not really. There's a time and a place. If the nudity is a distraction and does not serve the story it perhaps does not need to be there. But there is something to be said for alternate variants, sure. I enjoy that kind of thing. It is having your cake and eating it nude.
Would you think non-sexual nudity should be censored?
It's all about context. I love to depict nudity, but there's a time and a place. So, there is no hard, company, answer for that.
What can you think of the Nipplegate event as well as the recent case of an Austrian museum censoring its promotional art poster of nude men? Do you believe this kind of censorship has become more prevalent? Is that satisfactory?
The New Yorker thing is moronic. Sergio Aragones depicted bare breasts with dots for nipples in CRAZY over thirty years past. And that's a magazine ostensibly for kids. So the fact that anyone was fussed over dots in the New Yorker is completely stupid. And the redrawn version makes no sense in any way. It is simply not a gag any more. As for the Vienna thing, since those a public kiosks I think it makes more sense to cover the male pieces. If they were covering them at the real exhibition that would be another issue.
There are other nude art posters plastered all over Vienna, except they feature full-frontal female nudes. These were absolutely satisfactory, while the male nudes caused Naked Run And My Struggles With Body Image . Any thoughts on this or why there was such a difference in reaction to them? Should just particular kinds of nudity be censored in public?
Okay, this points out a few things. First is the inherent hypocrisy of male vs. female nudity. Some would claim that it is because female genitalia is internal (although these days, with some many girls completely waxed, one could assert it is possible to see plenty of the intimate human body), while men's bits are fully on show. I think it essentially comes down to many (most?) Individuals finds penises kind of gross. Or silly. Or both. What do I know?
So there you might have it. The lowdown from two cartoonists and how they cope with nudity taboo, female nipple bulge and censorshi