Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Drek Sketchbook Zero: The Earliest Erotic Explorations!

Anton Drek came of age in the late 1980s, first in sketchbooks carefully hidden from the light of day, then exploding on the burgeoning sex comix scene of the early 1990s. Below are several pages from the earliest efforts at imagining an erotic vocabulary, from circa 1987-1989.

The earliest extant sketches are done in a sketchy pen and ink style reminiscent of R. Crumb, Mœbius, and Milo Manara.

The earliest extant Drek sketches, done in a sketchy pen and ink style, belie the Underground Comix influence of Robert Crumb, as well as the French Les Humanoïdes Associés artist Mœbius (Jean Giraud) and Italian eroticist Milo Manara.

This early sheet is clearly swiped from photographic reference from a hardcore porn magazine.
Some studies are clearly derived from hardcore magazines of the period, and show couples engaged in a variety of explicit sexual acts, such as a woman in a garter belt sitting atop a cock, the same woman being penetrated from behind, and her visible discomfort at being subjected to anal penetration.

Raw material like this served as reference for Anton's erotic explorations.

Rollerball pen sketches in a Mœbius style, exploring erotic humiliation.
Already in these early explorations, Anton Drek seems to be exploring a number of motifs that will later become standard in his Underground Comix work: cumshots, fellatio, urination, frottage, and women either kneeling or otherwise enduring erotic humiliation beneath their male partners, who exalt in their subservience.

Male figures are depicted straddling the chests of female figures, selfishly masturbating on them, pissing and cumming on their chest and face, etc. Vaginal penetration is also explored, but the artist's interest in this theme seems often half-hearted at best. Tits, ass, and legs are also offered to the delight of the aroused male member.

Most male figures, like the females, are depicted nude, but occasionally a clothed figure is seen unzipping his fly to let loose a torrent of bodily fluid on a subservient female partner. And yet, female agency is never entirely absent from Anton's erotic imagination. Indeed, these fantasies seem to embrace the notion of female agency.

The nude female figure, long the repository of cultural desire in the west, here takes an active role in its own harmless desecration. After all, the piss and cum will wash off, and in the meantime the woman has indulged her partner in a boost to his ego seldom available in the modern world.

This feminine selflessness is enacted through kneeling, hands clasped (and sometimes visibly bound) behind the back, and the eyes closed. The face is always raised up expectantly toward the male member, sometimes wincing and even grimacing, but never shirking its role. This quasi-religious act of devotion parodies prayer and meditation; the emanations of the cock shower the blessings of heaven upon the earthly soul.

The rigid, upright cock, delivering its divine inspiration to the devoted, is followed by the drooping, spent member, still proudly commanding the attention of the divine supplicant, and ready to deliver a stinging slap if the recipient too strenuously objects to her fallen state. This ritual is performed again and again throughout these spontaneous sketches.

Men stand over women, Godlike, it is true, selfishly achieving their own satisfaction without regard for their female partners. The artist seems to be paying little attention to this erotic one-sidedness in his portrayal of loving relationships. Indeed, verbal abuse from the men is the lingua franca of these works; the men constantly remind their partners of how little their (female) pleasure is taken into account. This foul language is often reciprocated, as the women register their disdain for the treatment they are made to endure.

What remained was for these motifs to be set against a narrative backdrop that would lend the underlying ritual dramatic urgency. But that would have to wait for Anton's subsequent comic book work to unfold. Although the solid, American style that would later be associated with the mature work of Anton Drek has yet to solidify in these sketches, we see his willingness to experiment, and deal honestly and forthrightly with his own erotic urges and artistic aspirations.

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