But, like, the classy kind.
Thank fuck this week is almost over, huh?
Brian here, and in the inaugural episode of Exploding Giraffe’s podcast-thing Mature Readers (our amazing next guest will be announced soon!), Garth Ennis and I discussed the first time we each saw full-frontal nudity in a comic book.
Like many of you, I’m guessing, this was mine:
Doctor Manhattan had been more or less nude since the beginning of Watchmen, but this was the first issue where his genitals weren’t tastefully obscured, and as a sheltered 12-year-old reader, it was fucking electrifying!
This slight, almost cautious moment of Vitruvian nudity wasn’t prurient (though I enjoy that variety, too), but it did feel shockingly adult, an unexpected exposure to the familiar truth lurking beneath the artifice of these colorful characters.
The next time nudity of the non-sexual variety would hit me that hard in a comic was with Concrete by the extraordinary Paul Chadwick (who I was eventually lucky enough to collaborate with on a few early issues of Y the Last Man).
With his brain trapped inside a rocky alien body, political speech writer Ron Lithgow can no longer experience physical gratification like he used to, so he becomes increasingly interested in classical paintings that feature nude bodies. What a fascinating way to reveal character and keep a supernatural story grounded in our real world.
Like Stan Sakai, Paul apparently doesn’t part with his interior pages, but I was lucky enough to acquire this early nude study painted by a young Chadwick himself:
Anyway, the use of nudity in these pioneering adult comics obviously had a tremendous impact on me as a reader and as a writer. It’s no coincidence that many of the main characters in Saga have been introduced while at their most exposed, literally and figuratively.
And speaking of comic-book nakedness, it’s time to give away another invaluable page of Spectators from the mighty Niko Henrichon, who’s generously offered to part with this stunner, featuring Val’s au naturel companion Lita :
If you’d like a shot at winning this full-color original art, all you have to do is post a single comment below. And don’t worry, we don’t want your nudes (no offense). Instead, please just reveal one interesting thing about yourself, and we’ll choose a lucky responder at random.
If you can’t leave a comment, that’s probably because you’re still a free subscriber, ya ding-dong! Giveaways like these are only for our monthly, annual, or founding members, so why not upgrade today?
Along with being able to enter this contest, our generous paid subscribers in The Tower are about to be treated to several more moments of diverse comic-book nudity (my objectifying male gaze loves all genders!) from my strange collection… including my own guest appearance in a page that world-renowned cartoonist Chris Ware described as “easily one of the most explicit I’ve ever wrought.”
Who the hell doesn’t want to see that?!