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THE LEATHER NUN

A Review By: David Lev

The following review by David Lev appeared on Dave’s Book Blog in January 2010.

This is, as you can probably tell from the subtitle, a collection of profiles of some of the weirdest comics out there. From the exploitative (comics with names like “Leather Nun” and “Amputee Love) to the cynically commercial (comics for products like Greyhound buses, Borden’s Milk, and Wall’s Ice Cream), to the just plain bizarre (title such as “Godzilla Vs. Charles Barkley”, “The Gospel Blimp”, and “My Friend Dahmer”). It is truly fascinating to see what some people tried to get people to buy in comic form. While quite a lot of it is utter crap (an evangelical Christian comic about “Hansi, the Girl Who Loved the Swastika,” for example, or the bizarre-looking issue of “Babe, Darling of the Hills” wherin the eponymous hillbilly girl is kidnaped by centaurs and forced to serve as a mount), some of it is actually interesting. The collection chronicles the efforts of a variety of African American writers and artists who tried (and failed, mostly) to depict blacks in the comics, and profiles artsy comics like “Longshot Comics,” which has the conceit of depicting all of its characters as miniscule dots. Paul Gravett and Peter Stanbury, the two authors, seem to take great joy in their bizarre product, and their profiles acknoledge the stupidity of some of the ideas behind some of the comics, while never being too glib about them either. I found it to be both an educational and fun read.

My Books

Comics Unmasked by Paul Gravett and John Harris Dunning from The British Library

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