Live on the Twitch stage at Emerald City Comic Con, Ari Yarwood, Matthew Nolan and Erika Moen took the time to talk about their book Oh Joy Sex Toy.
Moen says the book is sex toy reviews, and sex education, and even talks about the sex industry. Things relating to the world of sex are covered in the comics, and they also hire a lot of artists to talk about their perspectives.
The subject is approached with a sense of humor, and funnier words are used like “butt hole”. Moen said that’s a goal, using all the funny pseudonyms in pop culture.
Asked what the role of sex in comics should be, Moen said that they are trying to use comics as a way to educate about sex because comics are so accessible. It’s a great way of reaching people who normally wouldn’t go out of their way to be educated about it. Even people who strongly disagree with them will accidentally read the comic when critiquing it.
Limerence Press, part of Oni Press, published Oh Joy Sex Toy as the first in a new adult and erotica line. There’s been a huge renaissance of creators of different sizes, races, and backgrounds, wanting to talk about sex through comics, which is part of this new line and this book, Yarwood said.
Limerence came about because the publisher wanted a specific location for sex education and erotica books, and wanted it to be sex-positive. Small Favorites is coming out in April. Oh Joy will be coming out as a truly “Adult Coloring Book” too.
Oh Joy contains many different types of body types, which was a goal for Moen. There are bound to be things that most people don’t know about anatomy. Moen and Nolan both learned a ton of things about conception while working on the book. Their guest cartoonists often explain fetishes they have no idea about. It humanizes and makes accessible ideas that otherwise one might never encountered.
Moen said the comics say, “Ok, maybe it’s not your thing, but be cool to people for whom it is their thing”. Nolan added that they want to place an emphasis on human beings, and showing the extreme diversity of being human. The book is actually not just female-centric, as the hosts noted. There is much wider scope in the book, the creators agreed.
Talking about the role of webcomics in striving forward to include more about relationships and especially gay relationships, the creators agreed that an internet connection was a huge element in representing non-hetero relationships and led eventually to print publishers becoming more likely to publish those comics. Indie cartoonists pushed these elements forward, Yarwood said, and Moen commented that “proven properties” with a fanbase shown through the web, had led to print publication. Publishers feel like they are taking less risk in that circumstance.