billward_crop.jpgCourtesy of Abrams Books

Tim Pilcher’s titillating new title, *Erotic Comics: A Graphic History* certainly covers the territory. Beginning with the salacious mosaics of antiquity—oh, those naughty Ancient Romans—and Japanese Shunga woodblocks, it travels through Hogarth’s London and the ostensibly repressed Victorian era to the Tijuana Bibles of the 1930s, the rise of men’s magazines following World War II and the underground “comix” era of the ’70s.

However, we’re partial to the ’50s and ’60s (as usual) and the work of fellows like Bill Ward (above) with his impossibly-proportioned pin-ups and burlesque queens. He drew more than 10,000 of them over the course of his career, more than any other such artist before or since, and his influence is still apparent today—just check out the cover of the Fratellis’ *Costello Music* for one.

—J.P.S.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Jared Paul Stern