Sex in Comics. A History of the Eight Pagers

San Diego: Greenleaf Classics. 1971.

First edition. Four volumes. 4to. 267x210mm. pp. 191, 192, 208, 143. Original glued illustrated wrappers, printed in green, red, yellow and black. All illustrated throughout. All Near-fine with only minimal shelfwear and toning to edges and margins.

A complete set of this rare survey, representing the largest collection of early American erotic comics. These "eight-pagers" as they became known, flourished in the 1930s and quickly faded away. During the height of the popularity they were conceived and distributed entirely surreptitiously, yet they accounted for a multi-million pound business at the height of the Great Depression. These erotic comics were heavily satirical and reflected the changing times in America. They used humorous pornographic parodies of the classic American newspaper comic-strips and movie stars of the time (Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Blondie, Superman, Greta Garbo, Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin) and were sharp jabs at the establishment at a time when Hoover and the F.B.I. were the villains and Al Capone and John Dillinger heroes. The publication of these comics can be seen from a popular perspective as the beginning of the anti-establishment ethic of the 1960s. The comics collected here are erotic but not necessarily erotically stimulating: here sex is used as a vehicle rather than an end in itself.