A Naughty Journey- a Smut Peddler review

smut peddler8th March: Women’s Day. This comic wouldn’t have been created and wouldn’t be easily available today, if it weren’t for the women who fought before us for our rights as human beings – the right to our body and our pleasure without being considered crazy, among others. I take this chance to introduce you to one of my favorite books, full of “impeccable pornoglyphics for cultivated ladies (and men of exceptional taste!)”.

Smut Peddler is  undoubtedly an exceptional anthology, filled with sensual short stories with a great variety: you can find both romantic and kinky sex; women and men of different orientations, gender identities, races and sizes; solo playing, couples and up to two; occasionally sprinkled with a bit of fantasy or sci-fi, all splendidly drawn in miscellaneous art styles. Some stories have a more comedic tone, some others a more serious one, but all of them are profusely delicious. Naturally this post contains NSFW material. 

smut peddler_contents

Book design by Matt Sheridan

‘Pick your poison’ the contents welcome you, but ain’t it more a potion, an aphrodisiac to make your heart flutter and your body thromb with pleasure? Taste the stories here and be ready to forget your surroundings, just like the lotuses in that enchanted land. I mean, just take a look at how beautifully this book is designed and what attention-grabbing fonts it uses without becoming kitsch or pompous! There’s a retro, naughty and laid-back feeling you get from the front and back cover (see at the end of this post) as well as from the list of contents. The black and white only enhances the experience.

The Feather by Algesiras and Dwam, French Vanilla by Shari Hes, Wicked Witch by B. W hite and Ambrosia, Meet Cute by Trisha L. Sebastian and Erin Basin, Overboard by Alice Fox, A Boy & his Tenta-bot by Betty Jean Doe, Fixer-Upper by Pupcake Jones

The 26 comics touch quite many erotic fantasy scenarios and therefore it’s hard not to find at least one that you’ll enjoy/drool over, even if your tastes are strange. What is your fetish? Don’t be timid. Is it BDSM, tentacles, maids, pirates, robots, mechanicers, or cowboys? Do you enjoy voyerism? Are you excited by sex with strangers in mascerade parties? Is threesome with your partner and an extra person your biggest turn on? Sexuality isn’t judged in any negative way, as long as respect is exercised.

If you get off only from mainstream porn with jiggly breasts, lousy dialogue and non-con situations, then probably Smut Peddler isn’t your cup of tea. It’s not like I’ll pretend all comics in the anthology have plot -and anyway it’s hard to talk about plot when the story spans a few pages and the meat here is the smut indeed. But there’s not a single piece that isn’t carefully written and drawn. Yes, certain comics are more well-crafted than others, but none is of poor quality. There’s a sensitivity towards the characters and that makes the whole difference.

smut peddler_oil for water

Oil for Water by Argets

For example, Oil for Water is only about two tribal leaders exchanging goods and when the night falls, they’re having sex. It isn’t anything groundbreaking, but by having no words, the reader is allowed to imagine every small sound, and is saved from a limited dialogue which would cheapen the lustful atmosphere and ruin the mood. It also abides by the GGG rule, meaning good sex, giving equal time and pleasure to one another, and game – though beyond the foreplay things are mostly vanilla here. I can’t help but be drawn to it.

smut peddler_just friends

Just Friends by Rebecca Ruby and Megan Furesz

Which are the best you might ask. Very tough question to answer. Really really tough. I must begin from somewhere and I can’t really list 90% of the titles, so I’ll take it from the start and try to limit the number to the fingers of one hand. The start… right. It blows you away- it’s that strong. Just Friends is created by the women behind the budding  Flashover and the main characters here are taken from there. The first pages are spent sculpturing personalities and the couple’s relationship. The feelings are honest and the tension builds up progressively. Through the geek talk and the child-like playful scenes between them, we see that physical disability isn’t an obstacle to enjoying yourself, be it having hobbies or having sex. Thus the characters grow on us, only to leave us wonderfully frustrated at the end, when they grasp the complicated reality and when we have to say goodbye.

Travesty by Ursual Wood and Jennifer Doyle

Travesty by Ursula Wood and Jennifer Doyle

The next best thing is Travesty. The title is not politically correct but it has a purpose and it’s not to hurt trans*; on the contrary it captures and reflects both the thoughts of our hero of Asian descent for zirself and the way society sees individuals that don’t fit in prescribed roles and shapes. There are no shades and shadows in the artwork, much like how the protagonist experiences zir life. The lines are delicate yet radiate pride, and the body language is powerful. Words are used when and where they should; the script is compelling and never feels forced. Along with Busking Bequile by Jess Fink, it touches a very sensitive subject, doesn’t reduce it to something trivial, all the while remaining erotic. I can’t forget the scene where our crossdresser leans over zir lover and we glimpse the latter’s boner and slightly damp pants…

smut peddler_kung fu hustlers

Kung Fu Hustlers by E.K. Weaver

Third place goes to Kung Fu Wrestlers by the awesome lady who is the mother of the stellar lgbt-friendly comic, The Less Than Epic adventures of TJ and Amal (about which I’ll talk extensively some other time). Her writing feels fresh, her characters like real people and she succeeds in bringing out the romance, the lust, the carefreeness and at the same time the drama elements aren’t undermined. We see a younger TJ here utilizing his humor as the best flirting weapon and having fun with a curvaceous sweetie, who sings for a punk-rock band and who also performs striptease at a dance center. There’s plenty of flesh and raw passion without ever ending up lewd. And there’s also pegging. Let’s just say that it utterly fascinates me… for various reasons.

Once Upon A Time by Rennie Kingsley

Once Upon A Time by Rennie Kingsley

One more outstanding piece in this anthology is Once Upon a Time, a love story between a nymph and a human woman. There’s not much going on, and we don’t get to know anything about the lovers either. Despite that, it’s captivating and the art is the key. Just take a look at those lines that wax and wane and make these bodies desireable. Or the poses that suggest sweet surrender. Or the luscious hair and the full lips. Don’t you get the urge to touch this body? If it was real, wouldn’t you have the fervent wish to make her sing, make her call your name from ardor? I’m enamored.

favs

Computer Love by Magnolia Porter, Thistlebed by Lee Blauersouth, Abby Lark and Theo Lorenz, Daydreams by Amanda Lafrenais

Other favorites of mine are: the story about the couple attempting cyber sex; the other one about a nymph who finally finds the right satyr for her, who accepts her for who she is and offers her love; and the comic closing this wonderful anthology which is about a constantly horny young lady who in the absence of her boyfriend fantasizes and plays with herself. These are cute stories with which I can identify in one way or another and enjoyed a lot.

I should probably also give credit to The Hand by Blue Deliquanti for its mysterious air and to The Annunciation by Spike for its unique approach to the old religious story. Both have surrealistic notes and approach their stories’ themes in an extraordinary way.

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To sum up, Smut Peddler is a smutilicious little treasure that invests on its divergent, intersectional content which values consent and makes a statement in the porn comic book market. You can buy it on Gumroad as a PDF or in physical form from the shops’ of the various artists that contributed to it or on Iron Circus Comics Shop.

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7 thoughts on “A Naughty Journey- a Smut Peddler review

  1. Kung-Fu Hustlers pic reminds me of the news bulletin where there was a guy whose integrity was questioned because he allowed his girlfriend to use a strap-on on him because she wanted to. Take it for what you will.

    So, basically a book that explores all forms of sexuality and gives them decent plots. Neat. I have seen webcomics like this before but did not heed much attention to them.

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