Best Erotic Comics 2008: Call for Submissions

Last_gasp(Note: This news has now been updated.)

Last Gasp is seeking submissions for an anthology of adult comics, Best Erotic Comics 2008 (the first in a planned annual series). The series is intended to showcase the most artistically interesting — and most sexually arousing — recent erotic comics, from both the literary comic side of the field and the smut comic side. We believe that the divide between literary comics and adult comics is unfortunate and unnecessary, and we plan to make “Best Erotic Comics” enjoyable both as a literary and artistic exploration of human sexuality… and as a fun dirty book.

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Thus begins the call for submissions for my brand-new book project, “Best Erotic Comics 2008.” (The complete call for submissions is on my Website, but I’m also including it at the end of this post.) If you’ve talked to me in the last couple/few months and I’ve said I had a potential new book project in the works but was cagey about the details… this is it.

I am dying of excitement. I am so proud of this project — and am having so much fun with it — that I could just fall into hysterics at any time.

And here’s why I’m doing it.

Black_holeIf you’ve been paying attention, you know that the last 20 years or so have seen a tremendous blossoming in the world of comics and graphic novels.

Bae2006And if you’ve been paying attention, you know that those same 20 years have seen a similarly fabulous blossoming in the world of erotica, especially erotic writing and photography.

But erotic comics have not been getting their props. Adult comics are very much ghettoized in the comics world, shunted off to the side with the expectation that its readers want jerk-off material and nothing more. As a result, the work has suffered, in the same way that stigmatized, low-expectation, commerce-driven art forms and genres have always suffered.

Lost_girlsThere’s good work being done, though. There are adult comic artists doing work with excellent literary and artistic merit. There are serious art/literary comic artists and graphic novelists creating some wildly hot and dirty scenes in their work. And Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s impossibly beautiful Lost Girls (drool, drool — but that’s a post for another day) has made the potential for this field — and for the fusion of its literary/art side and its dirty side — unmistakably clear.

The time is clearly ripe for a blossoming in the field of adult comics. With the “Best Erotic Comics” series, I want to help foster that growth. I want to spotlight the good work that’s currently being done — and I want to encourage comic artists to do more of it.

So if you’re a comics fan and you have suggestions for work you think should be included in this book, please look over the call for submissions, and send me your suggestions/nominations. If you have friends/colleagues/etc. who are comic artists, please pass the call for submissions along to them. And if you’re a comic artist, for the love of God, check out the call for submissions, and send me your work.

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CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS:
Best Erotic Comics 2008, to be published by Last Gasp

Last Gasp is seeking submissions for an anthology of adult comics, “Best Erotic Comics 2008″ (the first in a planned annual series). The series is intended to showcase the most artistically interesting — and most sexually arousing — recent erotic comics, from both the literary comic side of the field and the smut comic side. We believe that the divide between literary comics and adult comics is unfortunate and unnecessary, and we plan to make “Best Erotic Comics” enjoyable both as a literary and artistic exploration of human sexuality… and as a fun dirty book.

In keeping with this vision, submissions to “Best Erotic Comics” should be both:

a) Hot.

b) Interesting in some way in addition to being hot.

Here are some more details:

IF YOU ARE PRIMARILY A SMUT COMIC ARTIST:

Submissions to “Best Erotic Comics” should not simply be hot sex comics. They should have some literary and/or artistic quality, as well as being arousing. We are looking for hot sex comics that are also thoughtful, insightful, engaging, funny, poignant, political, and/or exceptionally well-drawn.

IF YOU ARE PRIMARILY A LITERARY COMIC ARTIST:

Submissions to “Best Erotic Comics” should not simply be about sex. They should also be hot. We are looking for thoughtful, insightful, engaging, funny, poignant, political, and/or exceptionally well-drawn comics that make the reader want to have sex and/or whack off.

IF YOU ALREADY WORK IN LITERARY SMUT COMICS:

Excellent! Send us your best work.

We are looking for a wide variety of erotic content — straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and other; kinky and vanilla; from the points of view of women, men, and others. Both single-panel and multi-panel comics will be accepted. We are primarily looking for black-and-white work, but will be including a limited color section. We are accepting both original and previously-published comics; previously-published work should have been published or reprinted fairly recently, ideally after January 1, 2000. You can submit individual stories or excerpts from longer works. Work should be in English or wordless. Deadline for submissions: November 30, 2006. The pay starts at $20 a page, depending on length and other considerations.

The editor of the anthology is Greta Christina. Greta has been writing about sex professionally since 1989. She is editor of the anthology “Paying For It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients,” and author of the erotic novella “Bending,” which appeared in the three-novella collection “Three Kinds of Asking For It” edited by Susie Bright for Simon & Schuster. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Ms., Penthouse, and the Skeptical Inquirer, as well as several anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2003 and 2005. She has worked for Last Gasp Books and Comics since 2002.

Please send submissions to:

Last Gasp
Attention: Best Erotic Comics
777 Florida St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Do not send originals, or your only copy. All submissions with SASE will be answered, but submissions will not be returned. Deadline: November 30, 2006.

If you have any questions, please contact bec@lastgasp.com.

Perverts Put Out returns — and I’m reading!

GretaCome hear me read dirty stories — along with faboo sex writers Simon Sheppard, Carol Queen, Kirk Read, Charlie Anders, horehound stillpoint, and Lori Selke — when Perverts Put Out returns to San Francisco! Perverts Put Out was a long-running sex-writer forum/salon thing, which ended prematurely when host Bill Brent inexplicably decided to do what he wanted with his life and moved to Hawaii. But now Simon Sheppard and Carol Queen are reviving it as a benefit for the Center for Sex and Culture — and they very kindly invited me to be one of the readers at its debut!

Perverts Put Out always had a great and hilarious variety of sex writing — fiction, non-fiction, poetry, queer and straight, kinky and somewhat less kinky — and the return engagement promises to keep that tradition alive. I’m thrilled that it’s back, and I’d be going even if I weren’t reading. It’ll be on Saturday, September 23, starting at 7:30 pm, at CounterPULSE!, 1310 Mission St. (that’s at Mission and 9th, near Civic Center BART) in San Francisco. Admission is a $5-$15 sliding scale to benefit the Center for Sex and Culture, but no-one will be turned away for lack of funds.

I’d give you a taste of what I’m going to be reading, but I haven’t decided yet. Probably the story about the college girl getting spanked by her professor, but I might change my mind…

Bending and Bottoms: Erotic Reading by Greta and Others, Thursday 8/17

Threekinds“She loved being bent over. More than any fiddling that might precede it, more than any fumbling sex act that might follow. The moment of being bent over was like a sex act to Dallas, like foreplay and climax blended into one swooning, too-short moment. A hand on her neck, pressing gently but firmly downward, felt like a tongue on her clit; a voice in her ear, telling her calmly and reasonably to bend over and pull down her pants, felt like a cock in her cunt.”

Want to hear more? Come hear me read it in person! The Inside Story Time reading series is having an evening devoted to the topic of Bottoms, which they’re describing as “a literary exploration of the theme of sexual submission.” I’ll be reading from my erotic novella Bending (excerpted oh-so-briefly above), which was published in Susie Bright’s three-novella collection Three Kinds of Asking For It. Other readers at the event include Carol Queen, Stephen Elliott, and players to be named later.

Greta_in_top_hatSo why should you come? Well, at the risk of sounding appallingly arrogant, I’m a really good live reader. I love doing it — I’ve never understood the “fear of public speaking” thing, to me it’s like eating bon-bons and getting a neck massage — and I do it extremely well. Dirty stories especially. And this novella, “Bending,” is easily one of the best things I’ve ever written. It’s smart, it’s funny, it takes its subject seriously, and it’s unspeakably filthy. I love it, and I love reading it aloud. (And it’s been a while since I’ve given a reading from it, so I’m no longer sick of it.) Here are a few of the nicer blurbs, about “Bending” in particular and “Three Kinds of Asking For It” as a whole:

Kirkus_cover“Greta Christina’s ‘Bending’… is a surprisingly moving odyssey of exhaustiveness and exhaustion.” -Kirkus Reviews

Annie_sprinkle“A smart and delicious trio of erotic novellas — a must-read in bed with towel near by. I’ve been a long-time fan of Greta Christina’s writing, and here she is at her very best — and in excellent company. I was inspired, and perspired.” -Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D.

Sarah_silverman“The perfect book for intellectual sex freaks… Even the ones I thought were disgusting aroused me wildly.” -Sarah Silverman

Cleo_dubois“‘Bending’ is amazing. Kept me from sleeping. Truly brilliant.” -Cleo DuBois

Pwcover“Who needs a beach for this summer treat? Bright’s imprimatur guarantees heat sufficient to melt an ice floe.” -Publisher’s Weekly

M_christian“This is not a good book, or even a great book, but rather is an excellent book. The writers here have managed the near-impossible by presenting stories that are not just touching, amusing, amazing, evocative or poignant but also powerfully erotic. I cannot recommend it too highly!” -M. Christian

Alan_ball“Intense, unjudgmental, hilarious and wise.” -Alan Ball (yes, that Alan Ball, creator of “Six Feet Under” and writer of “American Beauty”)

The “Bottoms” reading will be on Thursday, August 17, from 7 to 9 pm, at the Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street in the Hayes Valley district of San Francisco. $3-$10 sliding scale. If you can’t come, you can read a more extensive excerpt from the novella on my Website. Plus, of course, you can buy the book at Powell’s.

And if you can make it to the reading, please say hi afterwards — I’d love to meet my blog readers. Hope to see you there!

The Erotic Illuminati!

Bay_guardianYippee! According to the San Francisco Bay Guardian Best of the Bay 2006 issue, I am part of San Francisco’s “erotic illuminati.” It’s a little mention in the Best Parliament of Perverts award they gave to Femina Potens Gallery for their “Sizzle Erotic Open Mic” (which they totally deserve, btw). And I quote:

“In the past 18 months, Sizzle has already featured many of the city’s erotic illuminati, from Carol Queen to Greta Christina… Come prepared for skin-tingling sexuality, but also for breathtaking insights.”

I now feel strangely compelled to write occultist conspiracy-theory porn about the number 23. Anyway, it’s a nice little plug, so thanks to the Guardian for thinking of me. I’ll do my best to live up to the honor, and continue to erotically illuminate.

A Sex Writer’s Defense of Visual Porn

MyeroticxfilesWords or pictures? When it comes to erotica, what turns you on? And why? For me, it’s almost always about the pictures — something I feel a little odd about, what with being a porn writer and all.

The Good Vibrations magazine has just started running a photo gallery — and they’ve published my piece, A Sex Writer’s Defense of Visual Porn, as part of their opening festivities. If you’re interested in the “dirty pictures versus dirty books” question — or if you’re curious about why a dedicated sex writer turns to photos and videos when it’s time to get off — come check it out. Here’s a taste:

“It’s about feeling like I’m really there. The pictures don’t just make it easier for me to imagine the scene — they make it easier for me to project myself into it. Having a picture thrust into my brain makes me feel like I’m there; like I’m one of the people in the scene, or a new person wedging myself into the goings-on, or even an invisible voyeur watching it all up close. And that’s true whether the pictures are photos of real dirty people doing real dirty things, or drawings of dirty people doing made-up dirty things that an artist thought up.”

SpankTo read the rest, come visit the Good Vibrations Magazine. There’s tons of great writing in addition to mine — and now they have dirty pictures, for drooling perverts like me!

People Who Bought This Book Also Bought…

I was doing a variant on ego-Googling and checking the “people who bought this book also bought” feature for my two books. Amazon’s are really boring and predictable — people who bought “Paying For It” bought other books about sex work, and people who bought “Three Kinds of Asking For It” bought other Susie Bright collections. Ho hum.

But Last Gasp’s are hilarious — and weirdly apt.

Threekindsblog_2At Last Gasp, people who bought “Three Kinds of Asking For It” also bought:

Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture
This Is Heroin
Baby! (a collection of baby-themed graphics from India)
The Copyright Handbook: How to Protect and Use Written Works
J&L Illustrated 2 (an illustrated fiction collection)
The Skullz Press Compendium (tattoo-inspired graffiti art)
Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir
Even a Daughter Is Better than Nothing (a travel book about Outer Mongolia)

PayingcoverblogOn the other hand, people at Last Gasp who bought “Paying For It” also bought:

Original Bondage Fairies 5
The Illustrated Book of Dominatrices
Cherry 6
Cherry 8
Cherry 9
Cherry 10
New Bondage Fairies 1
Bad Girl

So people who are buying literary smut are also pursuing an eclectic assortment of modern cultural interests, only occasionally connected to sex. And people who are buying the guidebook for sex work customers are pretty much buying dirty comics and dirty picture books.

And good for them. Both groups.

On the Rhythms of Writing and Fucking Off

A few months ago, a good budding writer asked me for advice about writing. I gave her what I hope was good advice — but I had a recent revelation about how I write, one that I feel like an idiot about not catching on to earlier, and I want to share it with her, and with the rest of the class.

My revelation was this: In order to write, I need a large block of uninterrupted time. Several hours at least. I can’t have a writing schedule where I write for two hours every day — I’ll get fuck-all done.

Here’s why. It apparently takes me a long time to rev up my writing engine. I can’t just sit down with guns a-blazing — I have to ease into it, start the gears turning slowly. In a typical writing day, I start off just mucking about on the computer for a while: doing email, updating my Website, submitting finished pieces to publishers, that sort of thing. (I often get a fair amount of writing-related business done in this time, but it’s almost never the actual writing part.) Once I’m settled into that groove, I start reworking drafts, polishing and rewriting pieces where the basic churning-out of ideas has already been done. (Blogging usually happens in this phase as well.) Only then can I start the actual churning out, the Godawful hard work of dredging through that black wordless place in my head, dragging out the stuff that might be good and trying to wrestle it into coherent sentences. It’s like I’m tricking myself into writing, sneaking up on my brain and gradually turning up the gas. (Like a lot of writers, I don’t really enjoy writing all that much. I enjoy having written — but the actual writing part usually kind of sucks. I’d give it up, but not writing sucks even more.)

So the bottom line is, I’ll get twice as much done in one eight-hour block than I ever will in eight one-hour blocks — and most of that will get done in the last five hours. But apparently I need those first three hours to get me to the place where the last five will get me anywhere.

It’s taken me an embarrassingly long time to recognize this and accept it. I think I saw it as amateurish, prima donna behavior. I’ve never had much patience with writers and artists who sit around moaning about their muse and their writer’s block — it always seemed like the mark of a dilettante — and complaining that I can’t work in short bursts always seemed like that sort of “princess and the pea” crap. (I always hated that story…)

But I’m beginning to accept that I was being too hard on myself. After all, I’m not using the vagaries of my muse as an excuse for not writing. I’m not whining about how I need large blocks of time to write while I sit around in bars or cafes trying to impress chicks. I actually *am* setting aside large blocks of time to write. I’m structuring my job and my social life around my stupid Goddamn muse, who only shows up when I’ve been dicking around on the computer for a couple of hours (and who also, I might point out, tends to get really excited and gushy when it’s two in the morning and I have to get up at eight). I’m beginning to realize that it’s not “princess and the pea” behavior if I’m getting work done and meeting deadlines.

So that’s my revelation. But my advice to other writers and artists actually isn’t, “Be sure to set aside large blocks of time for your creative work.” My advice is, “Pay attention to the rhythms of your work, and respect them.” You may be the exact opposite of me — you might only be able to work for a couple hours at a stretch before you burn out. Or maybe it doesn’t matter when you work, but it does matter where: I like to work at home, where I can putter around like a butterfly in between burst of output, but maybe you need a separate place, completely free of distractions and devoted solely to your work. Whatever it is, respect it. Figure out what it is — and then structure your life to make it happen.

A seriously classy gig: Hastings Women’s Law Journal 2006 “Sex and Reproduction” Symposium

HastingsThis is one of the coolest, classiest speaking engagements I’ve done to date. The Hastings Women’s Law Journal is having a symposium on sex and reproduction law this Wednesday… and because of my book “Paying For It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients,” I’m going to be on the panel discussing sex workers. (Hastings, in case you’re not familiar with it, is one of two law schools in the Bay Area connected with the University of California, and is the oldest law school in the state. So this is a serious goddamn gig.)

PayingcoverbigIt’s a little daunting — after all, I’m not anything resembling an expert in sex work law. But I told the organizers that, and they said that was fine: they already have legal experts, and they want my perspective on the effects of sex work laws on the day-to-day working lives of sex workers. Which I now do seem to be an expert in. What with the book and all.

Best of all, I just found out that the event is open to the public. So if a scholarly symposium on sex and reproduction law is your cup of tea, do come check it out. It’s going to be Wednesday, February 15, starting shortly after 4:00. There will be two panels before the one on sex work; one on same-sex parenting at 4:30, and one on late-term abortion and disability law at 5:30. The sex worker panel begins at 6:30; there will be a reception afterwards. It’s in San Francisco, at 198 McAllister, room A, on the first floor.

For this particular gig, friends and family are requested not to bring giant foam rubber “We’re Number One” hands and shout “Woot, woot!” Thank you for your co-operation.

The oddest interview yet

Bannerinterviews_1It was with RomanceJunkies.com.

No, really. I was as surprised to be asked as you probably are to hear about it. But it seems that the world of romance novels and the world of erotica are beginning to overlap quite a bit. Romance novels are apparently getting more and more explicit — many of them are essentially becoming erotica. And romance novel readers and reviewers are paying more attention to barefaced porn, and paying attention more openly and unabashedly — especially if it’s written by women.

ThreekindsbigSo when “Three Kinds of Asking For It” came out, (for those of you just tuning in, that’s a collection of three erotic novellas edited by Susie Bright, one of which is mine), this website called RomanceJunkies.com asked me for an interview. It just recently went up…

…and it’s one of the oddest, most interesting interviews I’ve done.

Not because it’s with a romance novel website. Because of the interview itself. The interview is a melange of serious questions about my writing career, personal questions about my life and hobbies… and almost surreastically random questions about what kind of food I like, what my favorite appliance was, and whether I was right- or left-handed. And although they were interviewing me because of my erotica (and had reviewed “Three Kinds” earlier), they never once asked me about sex or erotic writing. In fact, they edited out my comment about the Hitachi Magic Wand in the appliance question.

Anyway. Odd, interesting interview. Check it out on their website. Enjoy!

Come listen to me talk dirty!

Payingcoversmall
Come listen to me talk dirty! (I know, like that’s such a rarity…)

I’m going to be doing a reading this Friday, December 16, along with three other writers from my book “Paying For It”: Carol Queen, Cleo DuBois, and Roxie Rosales. We’ll be reading bits from our chapters in “Paying For It” — plus we’ll be doing readings from our other sex writing as well. So there should be a fun, entertaining variety of dirty talk, from a fun, entertaining variety of dirty women.

Details: The event will be at the Femina Potens gallery, at 465 South Van Ness in San Francisco (between 15th and 16th, just a block and a half from the 16th and Mission BART station). All four readers in the event contributed to “Paying For It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients,” the book I edited of advice for sex customers written by sex workers and former sex workers. The event is part of the “Sizzle” series, a monthly series of erotic open mic nights at Femina Potens. Admission is very cheap at $5.00, or $3.00 if you sign up for the open mic. It’s this Friday, December 16, starting at 8pm.

Here’s some info on the lineup:

Carol Queen’s newest book is “Whipped! Stories of Dominant Women.” She’s the author of several books, including “The Leather Daddy and the Femme” and “Real Live Nude Girl.” She works at Good Vibrations and is the founding director of the Center for Sex and Culture, but before all that, she was a call girl.

Cleo DuBois is a renowned BDSM educator, ritualist, personal trainer in the kinky arts and educational video maker. She currently writes a monthly leather column for Alt.com. Her Academy of SM Arts, created in 1995, is in its third year of offering Erotic Dominance Intensive Weekends for Women and its second year of offering Dominance Intensive Weekends for Men. Her skills in SM, bondage play, safety, and communication reflect her sense of humanity and respect for others’ erotic sensibilities.

Roxie Rosales is a performance artist, writer, and dancer whose work strives to implode classic and modern form and create social change. She has contributed to Girlfriends Magazine, The San Diego Gay and Lesbian Times, and of course, “Paying for It.” A former stripper and sex worker, she now spends most of her time writing and dancing with her clothes on. Currently she teaches pole dancing classes at Good Vibrations and other venues around town, and is re-starting her pole dancing performance group. Rosales is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Literature Program. She lives in San Francisco.

Greta Christina (that’s me!) is editor of the collection “Paying For It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients.” She is also the author of the erotic novella “Bending,” which appeared in the three-novella collection “Three Kinds of Asking For It” edited by Susie Bright for Simon & Schuster and published in 2005. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Ms., Penthouse, and the Skeptical Inquirer, as well as several anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2005. She has worked as a stripper, a pornographer, an order-taker for a phone sex company, the buyer for a mail-order sex products catalog, and the personal ad manager for a gay newspaper — all of which she considers sex work.

Okay, I’m done talking about myself in the third person now. Do come down to the reading and say howdy if you can. Hope to see you there!