Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Phil Foglio makes me laugh... among other things. Originally known for his gaming artwork and later for the graphic novel series of MYTH-ADVENTURES and BUCK GODOT, Phil's cute characters came into their own (pardon the near pun) when the writer/artist released the first issue of his XXXENOPHILE comic in 1989. Although, they weren't calling them undergrounds any more by that point, this was a good example of a really classy underground. XXXENOPHILE, as you might have guessed from the title, is a sex comic...or perhaps more accurately, a fantasy comic--all kinds of fantasy! There are aliens, monsters, other dimensions, quests, spaceships, dragons, science experiments, magick and time travel but the real attraction here is the sex. Consisting of lots of self-contained short stories, these are fun, sexy romps, hardcore to the extreme and yet non-threatening. Some of the biggest fans of the comic turned out to be women. Foglio's delightful Don Rosa-like artwork (on view during the same period at DC in the ANGEL AND THE APE and STANLEY AND HIS MONSTER mini-series) is here enhanced by a succession of hot inkers including Stephen Bissette, Adam Hughes and Bill Willingham. As far as the writing, he does the nigh-impossible task of telling good stories without allowing the plot to interfere with the sex nor the sex to interfere with the plot. Almost always lighthearted, he even successfully juggles the humor so as not to detract from the "hot" factor of the piece! Even the covers (with only the least explicit seen here) are inevitably clever gags with original layouts. Reprinted in a series of 5 trade paperbacks that you MIGHT still be able to get at your local comic shop, there is also a sixth trade featuring an all-new 64 page fantasy graphic novel in the great XXXENOPHILE tradition. Published in 2000, I actually found this one at Barnes and Noble two years ago! Here's a link to Phil's website: STUDIO FOGLIO- Cartoon fun by Phil and Kaja Foglio Check out his new stuff! Even when he doesn't explicitly include the sex, his characters are some of the sexiest comics characters around!