Small Favors: The Definitive Girly Porno Collection; Oni Press, Limerence Press (originally Eros Comix, Fantagraphics); 2017 (originally 2000-03); $29.99, 256 pgs; also available digitally.
I have no idea how I’m going to talk about Small Favors; it’s my first “erotic” comic. Possibly ever. (The first edition of Lost Girls is sitting on my shelf, still unread).
The collection’s subtitle is “The Definitive Girly Porno Collection.” I’m just worried what kind of SEO I’m going to get from frequent usages of the phrase “Girly Porno.”
So. We’ll see how this post goes.
The collection—three years of short stories, plus sketches, plus at least one new story—starts with compulsive masturbator Annie (set off by her fetching neighbor) getting in trouble for her lack of conscience. So she gets assigned on in the form of Nibbil. Nibbil’s probably the size of an action figure. And Annie seduces her before they even get back to the real world from the magical sexy land. Sexy but no sex. Annie’s got too much of the sex is the whole point.
After the setup, each strip is basically Annie and Nibbil being adorable and then having sex. Eventually they make a girl friend—every character in Small Favors is a woman, which becomes apparent after Nibbil reveals to Annie she can grow to human-size (instantaneously, which writer and artist Colleen Coover uses imaginatively)—and have adventures with her. Though their adventures tend to all go the same way. Adorable setup at the beginning of the strip, then sex.
There’s some tension involving a bean counter out to confirm Nibbil’s doing her job in keeping Annie’s sex addiction under control and another subplot involving the girl friend trying to find love. But mostly it’s just explicit and very positively portrayed sex.
Coover’s Good Girl art is fantastic. All but one of the strips are in black and white, with Coover occasionally trying a little bit different of a style. The color entry is fantastic; color adds a whole new dimension to Favors. Not the sexy time, but the narrative stuff. Well, probably the sexy time stuff too but the big surprise is how lush the Coover intends the world. The strip’s positivity doesn’t start and end with its constant hay-rolling.
I’m now getting into euphemism territory so it’s time to wrap up; Small Favors is precious and quite exquisitely executed.