title: super fun sexy times
writer/artist: meredith mcclaren
genre: romance, erotica
target audience: adult
publisher: oni press
content warnings: explicit sex between consenting adults
my rating: highly recommended
i received an earc of this from the publisher, via netgalley. this does not influence my thoughts or opinions.
super fun sexy times is an erotic anthology graphic novel, made up of five short stories about, like the titles suggests, people in the superhero-ing/supervillain-ing community having fun sexy times. even though there are only five stories, and it’s a quick read, it feels like it features so much. we go from superheroes discussing what sexual acts they are comfortable with – which of course leads to more than just a conversation – to a hit man nearing 60 coming home to his husband after a frustrating day of work.
you all know i love superheroes, and supervillains, so much. you also know that characters being relaxed and domestic always are the death of me. combine those two, add some very nsfw content, and you’ve got this graphic novel. so often, the only super-stories we get are from the big two, and while they surely have fun titles too, they can not compare to this. the art is cute and fun and nonsexualised in a way other non-erotic comics often don’t even manage. there is a difference between a scene being sexy because the characters are doing sexy things, and an artist not being able to draw a woman in spandex without giving her suit boob socks.
this anthology is body positive, queer inclusive, with many characters of colour. it’s just really nice to see a black, queer, fat superhero being confident and loved by her girlfriend, you know?
i loved how consensual everything is, and how it shows characters taking safety and their partners comfort seriously. one story opens up with the two girlfriends discussing their plans to explore a fantasy later that night. they decide on a safe word and one of them double and triple checks that her partner is not doing anything out of obligation and that both of them are ready. there is asking for consent during the act itself, which is just as important as beforehand, and we also get to see characters thinking something was going to work for them, but realising during that it isn’t. they are not ridiculed or shamed for this, instead the partner comforts them and says that of course it’s okay. these can all sound like very basic things, and i think they are, but unfortunately healthy sex isn’t always practiced in media – or in real life – so i do think it’s important to point out and lift up.
there are some killer tropes being used throughout this anthology, and i was living for it while reading. two people who don’t particularly like each other get locked in together OH NO whatever will they do?? a strict but secretly soft character is in a relationship with a big cute goofball, HOW will this play out?? it’s also funny, with characters talking and laughing and being comfortable with each other. each story is only 20-ish pages, so we don’t get to know everyone extremely well, but i was still very drawn to every single couple and would love to hear from them again.
all in all, this anthology is a fun and light read, but maybe don’t read it out in public since, as i said in the beginning, it is erotica. but if you’re comfortable with seeing pictures of graphic sex, i’d highly recommend you pick it up. it’ll be available in comic shops august 21st.