Friday, June 8, 2018

"Loving the Alien": Anton's First Fledgling Filth!

In the late 1980s, a modestly successful comic book artist found himself moving around the country, first from his native Detroit area to rural central Wisconsin for a year, then to Van Nuys, California just north of Los Angeles for a few months, finally settling back east, in a post-industrial city, where he has lived ever since. In the four lonely months he spent in Van Nuys, Anton Drek was born.

"California was expensive, hostile to transplants, and outright lonely," the artist recalls. "It was in some ways the most miserable four months of my life. Explicit pornographic magazines at the corner convenience store became practically my entire social life." The cartoonist already had a mature readers comic book series on his drawing board, one that he would eventually take into the explicitly hardcore realm for a final, adults-only one-shot. "But in my sketchbook, I still felt the need, I wanted to make up for some of the things missing from my life; hence, Anton Drek was born."

Page 2 of "Loving the Alien," from Anton's Drekbook #1 (Eros Comix, March 1991). This was the page that launched Anton Drek's international Underground Comix career.

The first fledgling effort was a single page featuring a young, fairhaired woman fellating a phallic-looking alien. "That single page was a significant breakthrough for me," the artist recalls. "It was my first explicit depiction of exactly what I wanted sex to be: a woman on her knees, offering unconditional love. There was tremendous energy in just being honest to myself about my fantasies. And on the page, they somehow didn't feel so dark and shameful as I might have feared."

The spread of page 1 and 2 of "Loving the Alien," as they appeared in the American edition. The story would be translated into Spanish less than six months later, in Kiss Comix #1 (October 1991).

This single page grew into a four-page story entitled "Loving the Alien" that ultimately appeared in Anton's Drekbook #1 (March 1991). "Wendy Whitebread #1 appeared a year earlier, quickly followed by Forbidden Frankenstein #1 and #2," the artist recalls. "But that single page kicked around for quite a long time before I rounded it off into something like a story."

The page 2-3 spread of the story; motifs such as tit-fucking, cumshots, and anal intercourse are some of the many Drekian tropes introduced in this synoptic piece.

As discussed elsewhere, the story is little more than a sketchy framework upon which the artist hung nearly all of his erotic obsessions, including blowjobs, handjobs, anal sex, titfucking, cumshots, and the recurring motif of a woman kneeling before a dangling cock. "The cock has to be limp, hanging downward at a certain angle, not at an upward trajectory," explains the artist. "And the woman has to be just below up, gazing up at it, or bowing her head, or wincing from having just been sprayed with stringy gobs of sperm. I'm not sure I can exactly put into words why I find this motif so compelling; but it is even more exciting to me than a fully erect cock, standing proudly over a submissive, adoring female."

"When I drew that first loving blowjob," the artist recalls, "I knew I was onto something new in Underground Comix." Panels from the English and Spanish editions.

The first depictions of fellatio by the artist are still among the most erotically charged of his career. (The English and Spanish versions are presented side-by-side.)

Publishers of the Spanish-language anthology Kiss Comix thought so much of "Loving the Alien" that they ran the four-page story in their inaugural issue (October 1991), just half a year following its American release in Anton's Drekbook. "They must have figured it was a concise way to introduce Anton Drek to a whole new European audience," the artist offers, "in an overcrowded issue that include the likes of Frank Frazetta, Beto Hernandez, Hunt Emerson, Bill Ward, and Robert Crumb."

A buxom, fairhaired woman kneels before a dangling cock. "Although I usually don't care for women that chesty, I did marry a woman who looked a lot like her."

The dangling cock, which the artist describes as "a compelling, powerful motif in my work; women bowing before it is more exciting to me than a fully-erect, stiff, at-attention prick."

Issues #2 and #3 offered the first half of Wendy Whitebread #1, and Kiss Comix endured for 239 issues, ending only in 2011. "I guess 'Loving the Alien' was both a potent introduction to Anton," says the artist, "and it helped kick off the longest-running erotic comics anthology in history."

No Anton Drek story would be complete without an agonizing anal sex scene, and "Loving the Alien" is considered synoptic in the oeuvre on Anton Drek for its catalog of erotic motifs.

For more on the Spanish translation of "Loving the Alien," and an in-depth, scholarly analysis of the numerous erotic motifs that would become emblematic of the artist, visit here.

More on the role of female sodomy as motif and metaphor in the work of Anton Drek here.

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