Sabina here - I'm afraid that Bez is tied up at the moment, so I have volunteered myself to write this issue's text page. Sit up straight, and keep those hands where I can see them!
The first order of business tonight is a serious matter. Bez wrote a rough draft that goes on for some pages, but I will try to keep it (comparatively) brief. Sexy comics for adults are in danger from self-appointed censors - rightwing and other local politicians, self-publicising preachers, and a few other dubious types who suffer from the delusion that freedom of speech only applies to things they personally approve of, who are looking for an easy target. The poor perception of the comics medium in the English- speaking world adds to the problem; some people seem unable to grasp the idea that not all comics these days are aimed at ten-year-olds, and therefore imagine that titles like XXXenophile are being peddled to pre-teens, which makes them so angry that any existing common sense goes straight out the window.
So, what is the solution? Well, make sure that youngsters are not able to get hold of second-hand copies; make sure that sellers keep such items well away from little hands, and check the age of would-be purchasers as carefully as a liquor store has to (smut-obsessed police officers have been known to set up a "sting" operation using an older-looking, plausibly lying 16-year-old); and support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
The CBLDFs address is P.O. Box 693, Northampton, MA 01061; contributions are tax deductible. If you need help, the phone numbers are (413) 586-6967 and(800) 992-2533, with (413) 582-9046 as the fax line. They defend comic books. They defend the store-owner who has been the victim of a "sting" or a raid, and suddenly sees his whole business in jeopardy; they have even defended creators. Sometimes the arrival of a trained legal team is enough to sort things out; sometimes even a phone-call does it. But the CBLDF is a vital defender of our liberty, and I would take it as a personal favour if you would send them a few dollars. You won't just be helping to make sure that you will be able to continue reading the occasional Eros comic; if we aren't able to defend Sabina and School for Submission, the forces of censorship aren't going to just stop there; they will want to roll over Lady Death and Spawn and
Avengelyne, Preacher and Thor and Strangers in Paradise,
Catwoman and Evil Ernie and... well, you get the picture. That is why people like Peter David and Neil Gaiman are raising funds for the CBLDF, and making donations. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, like the man said; so write that check, please!
Moving on, while I'm still in the lecture mode, it is probably a good idea if I stress that, while this is pretty muct a bondage-oriented sexy adult comic, in real life bondage is only fun if both partners are enjoying themselves. A willing partner is precious - great care must be taken, limits and "safe words" must be agreed upon.. Do not leave you partner unattended - he or she is in no position to help him/herself with muscle cramps or breathing problems, after all. A good dominant "top" knows that it is the "bottom," the submissive, who is really in charge. As for an unwilling partner... well, you are looking at some substantial jail time. Contrary to some novels, the true submissive is a rarity, and some tight cord and a whipping are not going to transform a feisty modem feminist into a helplessly adoring slavegirl, so don't try this at home! 0f course, if you do wish to bring up this particular subject tactfully with the prospective soulmate of your dreams, how better than by leafing throug a suitable Eros comic together? Just don't assume that it's you that's going to end up as the dominant partner, necessarily!
If you have had trouble locating early issues of Sabina, let me tell you the good news - our first two issues have now been reprinted, with #3 due soon! You can order them from Seattle, using the order list you see in the back of Eros comics when there are a few pages to spare... or, with a credit card, you can phone your order in on 1-800-657-1100 between 9 am and 8 pm Pacific Time. The shipping and handling is 10% of the order total if you spend $40.00 or more (up to a maximum of $8.00), or $4.00 on smaller orders. My personal favourites, apart from this title and
School for Submission (a place I may send Bez to for her summer vacation), include Ironwood, 2 Hot Girls, Young Witches, and Ramba (all available as compilation graphic novels, as well as in the comics format), and just about any collection of pin-ups by Alazar, such as his six-issue Alazar's Bondage series, plus Women on Top, Big Top Bondage, and the three-issue Mistress of Bondage, which make up a heavily illustrated text story... the partial inspiration for our "Four Spankings and a Ball-Gag" movie in Sabina #5 and #6. Eros orders are always sent out in a nice, quiet Fantagraphics envelope or plain box, so order with confidence. With every order of $35.00 or more, Eros even allows you to choose a free extra comic - two for $65.00 or more, three or an Eros graphic novel for $95.00 or more. You will get a copy of the current Eros catalog, as well, I'm sure; #6 arrived here this morning, and inside the cute Frank Thorne "Miss Oklahoma City" cover (useful advice for sellers of adult comics, that) there is a whole wide world in there, with hundreds of covers in full colour. As well as the Eros line, you will find eye-popping imports, Carnal Comics, seriously kinky graphic novels and sketchbooks, and even trading cards and CD-Roms. Don't forget the signed Age Statement!
Next issue we tackle the important contemporary issue of pony girls... with one or two surprises along the way, especially for Bez. You should even see something you've not come across in this book, yet... which leads me to yet another brief lecture, I'm afraid. Just because they are not usually shown in comics like this doesn't mean that condoms aren't a good idea. Hey, anything made out of shiny, stretchy, form-fitting rubber is okay in my book! If you don't use them, you are risking an awful lot. You are risking everything, in fact. Sabina says: Don't ask, just wear it!
We have been reading a fascinating book lately; two hardback, slipcased volumes called Bizarre - it's the complete reprint of John Willie's Bizarre magazine, which ran for 26 issues between 1946 and 1959, and it makes a most compelling read even today! There are a few pages of Willie's compelling "Sweet Gwendoline" bondage comics serials; there are some of his sexiest drawings, articles on high heels, corsets, and fancy dress; photographs; fiction, and a spell-binding series of letter columns. I expect that John Willie was hoaxed some of the time, but the private lives of some Americans, back in the time of Eisenhower and before, were pretty hot stuff, and could fit into this comic, or other parts of the Eros line, with no difficulty. Clubs and special parties, husbands forced into transvesticism by "slaverette" wives, caning, bondage, all reported by pleasant, matter-of-fact correspondents who could easily have lived in the same building as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. A perfect pair of volumes for dipping into last thing at night, a few pages at a time. It's published by Taschen in Germany, but it is all in English, apart from a couple of translations of Eric Kroll's introduction. Your local comics store may well be able to get the slipcased set for you from his main wholesaler, and charge you about $40.00; it may be in bigger general bookstores, as well. (It's in the Eros catalog, too.)
Well, Bez is starting to make a purring, moaning noise around her favourite ball-gag, and wriggling as much as any girl could with that rope around her best parts, so I suppose I had better get this printed, and come to her rescue. Do come back next time, won't you!