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Exclusive First Look: A Taste of ‘Sex And Violence’ in Comics

Exclusive First Look: A Taste of ‘Sex And Violence’ in Comics: Sex And Violence: Volume Two

Sex And Violence: Volume Two

A peek inside Sex And Violence: Volume Two — an anthology from long-time Marvel and DC comic writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey (along with a bevy of artists) that hits Kickstarter today — along with Palmiotti’s personal history with comics that pushed the envelope into the risque.


I have to be honest: I love all my entertainment with a splash of sex. I like my movies to be adult, my music to be suggestive and my comics to be a bit naughty. When I was a teenager in the ’70s trying to put my Catholic school upbringing behind me, the comics available to me were either mainstream or underground. Mainstream books were DC or Marvel superhero comics and underground ones were the books I had to go to head shops to buy. The latter were gems: small press and self-published books written and drawn by artists like Robert Crumb and Dennis Kitchen, or titles aimed directly at my libido, such as Bizarre Sex and Tits and Clits. I loved these books, but I was forced to hide them with my collection of Playboy magazines in “ that spot” in my basement. Playboy, incidentally, was my other go-to, with its Little Annie Fanny strips.

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I remember the day the world became a bigger and more mysterious place. I was in tenth grade at the High School of Art and Design in New York, and a fellow comic book fan showed me the first issue of Heavy Metal magazine. This was like nothing I’d ever seen before: a magazine-sized anthology of European comics that featured themes of sex and violence — and censored absolutely nothing. The artists in the first issue alone — Richard Corben, Philippe Druillet and Jean “Moebius” Giraud — are still artists I follow to this day.

This magazine, a reprinting of material from the French magazine Metal Hurlant, was a game changer for everyone in my circle. I discovered that in Europe, they were putting out material like this and it was completely mainstream. My head was blown, and my obsession with European comics and films began.

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When I started publishing my own work years later, I wanted to continue to push boundaries here in American comics, and started self-publishing books under my own banner at Paperfilms. I partnered with Image Comics in the beginning, and our first title was a graphic novel called The Pro. It featured a super-powered superhero hooker. The tagline was “She curses, she smokes, she breast-feeds, and she blows away the competition.”

This book came about while I was a guest at a book fair in Germany. Writer Garth Ennis, artist Amanda Conner and I found ourselves in a cozy German bar, drinking way too much and playing the “what if” game. We talked about how insane a hooker superhero would be, and Amanda made it come to life with illustrations of the character on bar napkins. Jump to two years later, and we were publishing the title through Image Comics. It was a giant hit.

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The Pro was also my first book that ever had a lot of controversy surrounding it. Mainstream media made it their go-to story of the year. I understood some of this because the book featured a hero that was a single mother and a prostitute. It poked fun at mainstream comics in every single way it could. She joined a team called the League of Honor, and proceeded to maim, urinate on, murder, and tit-punch the bad guys. In a pivotal scene, she gives one of her teammates a blowjob that almost destroys a commercial airplane. I don’t want to ruin this for you, but trust me, you will laugh your ass off. The book was pure parody and silliness and everything I love about the world of comics. It is still selling in print and digital to this very day.

Over the past 13 years, I’ve continued to take on projects that push the envelope. At my company, Paperfilms, we publish books using Kickstarter to back and fund the projects we do, producing titles such as Queen Crab, Retrovirus, Weapon of God, and a book that I co-created called Painkiller Jane.

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Our newest Kickstarter book is called Sex And Violence: Volume Two. We published the first very successful collection two years ago, which featured a story about a father tracking down his daughter who has been pulled into the porn industry, and another about a voyeuristic bisexual police woman. This new volume features three brand-new stories that stick with the title themes. It features the violence of war, the origins of a vigilante, and a short story about a mother and daughter; we have featured some pages from that last story here.

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With my writing partner, Justin Gray, and a wide array of new and established artists, we hope to continue to produce this Sex and Violence anthology for a very long time. I know there is an audience for this kind of adult material based on how successful the first Kickstarter was. The 16-year-old me could never imagine in a million years that the adult me would not only be making these kind of comics, but that I would actually be talking about it here, on Playboy.com.

If only you could see my smile.


Jimmy Palmiotti is an award-winning writer and comic artist. He is currently co-writing DC Comics’ bestselling Harley Quinn series with his wife Amanda Conner and DC’s Star-Spangled War Stories with Justin Gray. He and Gray also adapted Hugh Howey’s bestselling novel Wool for Jet City. Palmiotti’s other comics work includes All-Star Western, Jonah Hex, Monolith, Painkiller Jane, Power Girl and The Pro. Both Painkiller Jane and Random Acts of Violence are in feature film development. In 2001, Palmiotti founded Paperfilms with Conner and Gray; together they’ve funded six Paperfilms graphic novels via Kickstarter. Follow him on Twitter: @jpalmiotti

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