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From the Vaults

From the Vaults: A Toon Temptress in a Male Dominated Comics World

From the Vaults: A Toon Temptress in a Male Dominated Comics World


Chelsey Johnson talks with Colleen Coover about her lesbian porn comic Small Favors

This article originally appeared in the Feburary 2002 issue of OUT.

During the day, Colleen Coover is the cute cherry-haired girl behind the counter at Daydreams, a comic shop in Iowa City. After hours, she whips out her brush and ink and brings to life the freshest and most charming lesbian porn in print. Her comic book series, Small Favors, stars girl-obsessed Annie and her sidekick, Nibbil, a guardian appointed by Annie's conscience to keep her from masturbating.

Unlike the busty cliches populating most mainstream adult comics, the women of Small Favors are smart, funny, and playful--and what's more, the comic's sex is sexy. "It seems so natural to me to create a porn comic. But when I look at many other adult comics, I see stuff where I just don't really understand how a person actually got to that place," says the 32-year-old Coover. "I'm trying to do really good comics and well as something exciting and titillating." It's working--Eros Comix (an imprint of premier art-comics publisher Fantagraphics) snapped the series up immediately, and comics luminary Gilbert Hernandez (famed for the alternative comic Love & Rockets) gave it a glowing endorsement.

Reaching queers and women can be tricky in an artistic and literary form that is unjustly overlooked--and overshadowed by the self-perpetuating stereotype of the comics fan (male, straight, and geeky). It's even harder with porn. Of the reaction to her work at a recent comics convention she attended, Coover says, "People were very surprised that I was doing an adult comic. They were like, 'Oh, you don't think of women doing this.'" But Coover is determined to dispel that notion for good. "My goal is to eventually completely dominate the adult comics market," she says.


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