One of the less well appreciated differences between men and women is this : men get turned on by cartoons, women do not. Two stories to illustrate.Couple of years back, we were on a narcotics-fuelled Simpsons all-nighter, - me, D, K, and A, - and there was this one bit where Marge Simpson was stood a certain way, and the camera just caught the curve of her hip, and, well, she looked maybe for only a second, you know, hot. Oddly, - but undeniably, - hot. A discussion began between the boys on cartoon heroines we have fancied. The list was long and the debate somewhat involved. We called on A for the girly equivalent, - "cartoon hunks I have" - oh, I dunno, - "moistened to." She couldn't come up with one name. Not one.Unless you count Peter Andre.
Another time, a few of us lads (me, Dave, Mat, Bendy and D) were watching The Little Mermaid (with Dave's kids, you understand; give me a break...) and you should have heard the anticipatory whooping and hollering when Ariel was about to emerge dripping from the waves wearing only - praise be! - a couple of scallop shells for a bra. But, then, inevitably, there followed the pitiful groans of male-menopausal disappointment when a not-even-wet A-line dress appeared magically from godknowswhere to cover her pert toon-poon.
Heartbreaking. Dave's wife did not find this display amusing. In fact, she thought it rather immature. Indeed, I suspect this was the main reason she decided to leave Dave the following month for the joiner who fitted their new kitchen cupboards.Anyway, women it seems are not erotically transported by saucy reveries on Shaggy or Fred from Scooby Doo, Spiderman, or Peter Perfect. Men on the other hand spend a lot of their adolescence trying hard to come to terms with indefinable erotic feelings for Daphne from Scooby Doo, Wonder Woman, the goddess that is Betty Rubble or, for a later cybergeneration, Lara Croft. This tendency was tapped into most effectively / graphically / cynically, of course, by Disney in the form of Jessica Rabbit.
Jessica was just a comic-loving geek's fantasy. Big eyes. Big tits. Big ass. Big gob. And to cap it all, when she could have had any man/toon in the whole wide world who did she settle for? A goofy-toothed, idiot rabbit who, wait for it, "made her laugh", that's who. Ha! Women never go for men who make them laugh. Not in the real world. "Must have g.s.o.h.": this is the cynical lie of womankind. If it was true, my mate Tim would be continuously wielding his shitty stick. Alas he is not, and indeed has not done so by my reckoning since a house-party in about 1993. The thing is, Roger Rabbit IS every adolescent, comic-loving geek who never kissed the girl. Only a few such geeks go on, like Robert Zemeckis, to direct Disney blockbusters where they are given millions of dollars to enact their revenge over the jock-gods and cheerleader goddesses of their miserable schooldays. But the adolescent geek never leaves any of us; he's in there somewhere. We still love comics, we still love unattainable girls, we still collect, you know, stuff. And, of course, the porn industry being the clever souls that they are has registered the power of the geek-pound. It has given us cartoon porn. Tons of it. That's the stuff we collect.It says a lot about the current state of art, - or maybe it says more about the economic muscle of pornography, - that so many of the best illustrators in the world are earning their dollar drawing hardcore porn.
Top grade artists like Francisco Solano Lopez and Ignacio Noe from Argentina, Milo Manara, Giovanna Cassoto (the exception that proves the rule?) and half a dozen other Italians are all at the top of their game. And the game is toon porn. There's even the odd Brit out there. But of all the artists at work in the field, the one who has tapped most obviously into the vestigial adolescent male psyche where Judy Jetson is the pinnacle of phwoar is the American artist Julius Zimmerman.Unlike the other artists named above who have made their name and money from rather glossy, mass-produced $13 a pop comic-books, Zimmerman draws individual cartoons in pencil on 11½" x 9" paper, and makes his money auctioning the originals over the net (at naughtybids.com, if you're interested). He draws four or five a day and the drawings sell for $20 and up, an average being about $40. So he's earning an okay wage and we have access to some pretty affordable original art. He sells 100% of what he draws. You can get quality reproductions over the net too, but why bother when most of the drawings end up as okay scans somewhere on the net anyway. There are thousands out there. You don't need to look hard.
The beauty of Zimmerman's art is that it's dirty and funny and clever. You don't often see these three things together. You'll find a lot of your favourite heroines doing things you didn't expect to see them doing. So if you're the sort of chap who can't get the idea out of your head of Bugs Bunny and Roger Rabbit double-teaming Jessica, then Zimmerman is for you. If you ever wondered if the forces of lesmosis could really get Wilma and Betty licking the bean, Zimmerman's for you. If you've ever woken sweaty from an indistinct dream where Popeye is tail-ending the Little Mermaid or Snow White is ball-gagged by the dwarves, - and, sorry, I know I have, - then Julius Zimmerman is the man for you. Julius Zimmerman is the artist, in fact, for every man who comes over all strange when Bugs Bunny puts on a dress.
Women, of course, won't get any of it.