ERIKA MOEN: I want to start this off by saying I don’t really have any hangups about sex. Get me in a room with the right kind of people and I’ll talk about dicks and tits all night long. Writing about sex, though, that’s where I fall short. So I have a real respect for people who can write about sexytimes well, much less DRAW them.
There are quite a few webcomics out there that you shouldn’t pull up while you’re at work, and Erika Moen’s Oh Joy Sex Toy is one of them. Which, really, is a total shame because Moen’s OJST is one of the most positive-in-every-way comics out there.
The basic premise of the comic is a review site for things related to sexytimes. Vibrators, emergency contraception, masturbation sleeves -- Erika, her devastatingly handsome husband Matthew, and the Masturbateers plow through sex toys like it’s their job. Which, it kind of is.
Let’s talk for a second about the Masturbateers. This ragtag group of sex fiends are the most diverse comic characters out there. All different body shapes, races and sexual orientations, and Moen makes sure to mention in her guide to new readers that the Masturbateers are intended to be gender-neutral, saying “we respect and support that real life people do not all refer to their own genitalia with [medical] terminology.”
Y’all. I just got some warm fuzzies.
Moen, another Oregon-based artist, took comic drawing classes at her high school, and created her own major in college called Illustrated Storytelling, but she said her greatest education cane when she joined Periscope Studio and worked with two dozen comic artists. She was also featured on Penny Arcade’s Strip Search webseries.
Her journal comic, DAR!, ran from 2003-2009, and Bucko, a murder mystery comic collaboration with Marvel writer Jeff Parker, ran from 2011-2012. Archives for both are available on her website, or printed in book form through her online shop. Moen also contributed to the book Smutpeddler, an anthology of porn comics for women.
YOU’LL LIKE ERIKA IF YOU LIKE: positive portrayals of gender and sexual identities, body-positive comics, doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well.
Ashley Perks is a journalist and graphic designer for a congressional newspaper which means she cares very deeply about the First Amendment but also fonts. This piece was originally published on xoJane.com.