Those are the words of Howard Chaykin, creator of indie trailblazer American Flagg! and noted purveyor of pulp. The man is a comic auteur, with a long history of expertly crafting tales of action and adventure with a hardboiled slant. His work often skirts the edge of what’s acceptable in comics, and has courted controversy for its adult content.
This brings us to Black Kiss, in which Chaykin takes the “adult content” label right over the edge at 80 miles-an-hour without so much as a tap on the brakes. The latest entry, this month’s Black Kiss XXXmas in July Special, is no exception to the book’s established format.
Sex has played a role in most of Chaykin’s work, even weaving its way into mainstream projects like his take on Blackhawk for DC. His depiction of men and women is visceral if nothing else, angular and meaty forms of human anatomy that carry the energy of the real world but filtered through the funky lens of comics.
With the Black Kiss series, first published in the late ‘80s, Chaykin throws off any governors holding his restraint in check and produces what could only diplomatically be called “adult.” More straightforward descriptions are pornography, erotica or plain old smut.
The why, as stated, is anybody’s guess. Here’s mine.