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Erotic Comics: A Graphic History from Tijuana Bibles to Underground Comix Hardcover – March 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Abrams; 1St Edition edition (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810995158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810995154
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 10.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tim Pilcher is the coauthor of The Essential Guide to World Comics and The Complete Cartooning Course. He lives in Brighton, England.

Gene Kannenberg, Jr., is a respected historian of comics and the director of He lives in Hudson Valley, New York.

Aline Kominsky-Crumb is a pioneer of autobiographical comics. She recently published Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir, and is married to fellow comix creator Robert Crumb.

More About the Author

Tim Pilcher is a pop culture expert and has worked in and around the comics industry for over 20 years as a writer and editor. He initially started as an assistant editor at DC Comics' Vertigo imprint, based in London, working on ground-breaking titles like The Extremist by Peter Milligan & Ted McKeever; Enigma and Face by Peter Milligan & Duncan Fegredo; The Mystery Play by Grant Morrison & Jon J Muth, Rogan Gosh by Peter Milligan & Brendan McCarthy; and Kill Your Boyfriend by Grant Morrison & Phillip Bond.

In 1992 he co-founded of the bi-lingual comics publishing house, Les Cartoonistes Dangereux, with Paul Peart, Brad Brooks, Dylan Horrocks and others. They published several critically acclaimed one-off graphic novels in English and French, including White Death by Robbie Morrison & Charlie Adlard, The Malice Family by Fareed Choudhury, Aunt Connie and the Plague of Beards by Jonathan Edwards and the first appearance of Fred the Clown by Roger Langridge.

He has written comics for the BBC, DeAgostini, Weldon Owen and the Young Telegraph and has worked for numerous book publishers including Penguin Children's Books and Dorling Kindersley.

As a journalist he has written for Deadline, Comic World, Tripwire, Education Today, Comics Forum, Criminal Justice Matters and G-Spot Magazine and Star Trek Magazine. Pilcher became an associate editor at Comics International, the UK's then-only comic book trade paper, alongside Dez Skinn. Pilcher has written numerous books on comics including The Complete Cartooning Course and The Essential Guide to World Comics with Brad Brooks. He has also contributed to numerous other books including, Comix: The Underground Revolution, 500 Comicbook Action Heroes, The Slings and Arrows Comic Guide (1st Edition), 500 Essential Graphic Novels and War Comics: A Graphic History. His Erotic Comics: A Graphic History Volumes 1 & 2,were the first serious survey of this genre in over 20 years. The books have been translated into French, German, Polish and Czech and were Publication of the Year finalists in the 2010 UK Erotic Awards.

He regular gives talks on everything from Tijuana Bibles, Indian comics, the history of Ecstasy and other esoteric subjects, and is currently commissioning editor at Ilex Press and is the Chair of The Comic Book Alliance (, a not-for-profit organization a not-for-profit organisation and "The Voice of the British Comics Industry" promoting graphic novels, webcomics and sequential art in its many forms. He occasionally updates his intermittent blog, Sex, Drugs and Comic Books (

He has also written several non-comic related books including: e: The Incredibly Strange History of Ecstasy, Spliffs 2 & 3, and the bestselling The Cannabis Cookbook. He lives in Brighton, England.

He has just launched his first Kickstarter project, a memoir of working at Vertigo UK called Comic Book Babylon: A Cautionary Tale of Sex, Drugs and Comics. You can find it here:

It ends on 3 May 2013.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Roochak on March 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"It makes me laugh to imagine anyone finding my comic work erotic," states Aline Kominsky Crumb, "and in general I can say the same thing about most Underground comic art." She's got a point. Other people's erotic fantasies and obsessions are ridiculous, unless they happen to turn you on, too.

If Sturgeon's Law is true, then ninety per cent of all the erotic comics drawn, then and now, are crap. Tim Pilcher's brief but informative history of the remaining ten per cent revels in the allure of that minority of comics, those drawn with a powerful personal style. What's weirdly consistent about powerful personal styles (and this is an observation Pilcher never quite manages to articulate, though he comes close) is that going public with one's sexual fantasies means going public with one's fascination with the grotesque as well. It's as if artists can't choose which boundaries not to cross in their work, not if they're being honest with themselves as well as dedicated to cartooning as a professional pursuit. That dedication, and society's expectations of us, however hypocritical, may explain why the history of erotic comics (at least up to this volume's cutoff date of the early 'seventies) is a history of artists getting screwed -- by their publishers, usually, but also by the police and the courts.

This is a picture book, and Pilcher's selection of images is very good indeed. The first of five chapters covers the prehistory of underground comics, from the bounty of the 18th century (Hogarth, Rowlandson, Japanese shunga prints, and illustrations for the Kama Sutra), through saucy postcards, Tijuana Bibles, pin-up paintings, and risque comic strips for servicemen.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jason Giecek on August 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book, lots of pictures and just enough text to inform the reader rather than just to bog them down. Highly recommended!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss N~ on December 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is massive I thought it was going to be some little thing. Pictures are plenty and very nice! My only issue is the way it came. The hard cover comes with a paper cover (?) but that paper is not tight so it kind of moved along its trip to me. I wish it were packaged very tight instead of in this big box with air filled plastic protection. Luckily the paper isnt too damaged but it couldve been brutal. This book was a great purchase. Highly recommend it!
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