What You Know Him For:
Curt Swan was the main Superman artist for more than three decades: If you pick up a random Superman comic made between the 50s and the mid-80s, chances are it was drawn by either Curt Swan or someone trying to be Curt Swan. That's his work you see in all those classic cartoons, toys and lunchboxes. He's still considered a legend in the comics medium and perhaps the definitive Superman artist.
But He Also Did:
Penthouse illustrations of Superman and Lois Lane ... doing it.
In a way, this is even more shocking than Joe Shuster doing fetish cartoons, because the Superman that Shuster created wasn't exactly the big blue Boy Scout we all know -- it was only during the Curt Swan years that Superman became the perfect "Super-dad" who urges kids to eat healthy, say no to drugs and denounce suspicious communist activity.
"In order to learn his country's secret!"
But by the 90s, Swan's style was considered outdated (presumably because he couldn't draw a convincing mullet), so he stopped getting regular work from DC. He struggled financially and developed a drinking problem, and his wife left him. So when Penthouse asked him to illustrate an article, he probably jumped at the opportunity.
Penthouse is the main source of entertainment for divorced middle-aged alcoholics, anyway.
The article? An essay by science fiction writer Larry Niven titled "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex," which details the logical reasons why Superman and Lois Lane can never have sex. Small inconveniences such at the fact that "Superman would literally crush LL's body in his arms, while simultaneously ripping her open from crotch to sternum, gutting her like a trout. Lastly, he'd blow off the top of her head [with his semen]." In Krypton, that's what they mean by "blow job."
"I AM THAT GOOD AT SEX!"
Niven goes on to explore Superman's inevitable sexual frustration, which leads him to use his X-ray vision for what God really intended: looking at boobs. Curt Swan takes the ball and runs with it by supplying this haunting image of Clark Kent playing pocket tennis.
The article also speculates on what would happen if millions of Superman's invincible spermatozoids ended up flying all over Metropolis, among other bizarre scenarios. Swan was apparently beyond giving a shit at this point and simply went with it.
Penthouse obscured Superman's identifying features to prevent a lawsuit, but we're not so easily fooled. We can't imagine DC was too happy about it, though, so we guess the lesson here is: Treat your talent right, or they won't hesitate to make porn with your characters when their life is in ruins.
Also: Larry Niven is a freak.
What You Know Him For:
Being very smart and/or smug. During his long, long career, Gore Vidal has authored several novels, plays and screenplays, besides being a respected essayist and political commentator. He even ran for public office a couple of times.
He also had one hell of an eye for sweater-vests.
But He Also Did:
Caligula, the infamous 1979 porn epic funded by Penthouse.
Vidal actually had written for Penthouse before -- not steamy accounts of the time he engaged in random sex while working as a plumber, mind you, but real articles. So when he couldn't get funds for his project about the life of Roman Emperor Caligula, he turned to Penthouse's Bob Guccione. Guccione agreed to fund the film on the specific condition that Vidal add more sex and nudity to the screenplay to promote his magazine.
That oughta do it.
Vidal accepted the condition, did the rewrites and approved Italian erotica specialist Tinto Brass as the director. The cast of the film was actually pretty impressive: It included legitimate stars such as Malcolm McDowell (when he still looked like Alex from A Clockwork Orange) ...
As opposed to looking like a generic TV villain.
... future Academy Award winner, Dame Helen Mirren ...
Before you ask: yes. And they're spectacular.
... and Lawrence of Arabia himself, Peter O'Toole.
His porn name was "Peter O'Toole."
The problem was that Guccione, like some perverted version of Scrooge McDuck, could never have enough porn and wanted to add more and more to the movie, getting to the point where he actually snuck behind everyone's back and shot hardcore sex scenes. Vidal and Brass ended up disowning the film -- but that doesn't mean their version was The Sound of Music. In fact, the hardcore scenes add up to only six minutes (out of 156), and the film was already full of stuff like this:
Ridiculous! That's like, what, twice the size of a regular one?
What You Know Them For:
Square Enix is the Japanese game company that currently publishes franchises such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Tomb Raider. It's also responsible for Kingdom Hearts, an RPG series starring Disney characters. But before merging with Square, Enix was a separate company with a long and distinguished history of its own. You know what's coming next.
But They Also Did:
A bunch of disturbing porn games for PC.
Enix got its start in the gaming business by holding a developing contest for hobbyists in 1982 in which anyone could submit games, and Enix would publish the ones it liked. This was done mainly because it was actually a publishing company at the time and didn't really know a whole lot about video games, other than the fact that apparently you could make a lot of money from them. As a result, most of its early games are either extremely crappy or extremely questionable. Guest Mariko Hashimoto is a combination of both:
Above: The smallest knife ever featured in a Japanese video game.
In the game, you play the part of a disembodied hand with the noble mission to protect young Mariko Hashimoto (a guest of yours, presumably). Your task is hampered by the fact that people keep throwing knives in her direction, hooking her up to high-voltage batteries or placing her in the immediate vicinity of bombs. If you fail, she dies. If you succeed, she takes her clothes off.
Obviously you have to help her with that, because she's frozen in that position.
All the while she never loses her cheerful demeanor, the poor brave soul. Yes, for 90 percent of the game you see the exact same image, with slight variations in amount of clothing and number of knifed hands fluttering about. But this is pretty tame compared with Lolita Syndrome, another game crapped out by Enix's Game Hobby Program Contest. And we're pretty sure we can't even show the cover without going to jail (it includes sexually suggestive toddlers).
At least Mariko Hashimoto looked like she could pass for an adult; the girls in this game are no older than 10. Lolita Syndrome consists of five mini-games where the only goal is removing the clothes from those girls in contrived, sadistic ways.
It gets worse: At the beginning of the game, the player is presented with five doors, with a different tied-up girl behind each one. This makes Hostel look like Everybody Loves Raymond. One of the mini-games consists of throwing knives at a girl until her clothes fall off.
Or she loses an eye.
And we mean all her clothes. If the player completes all the games, he's rewarded by the image of a naked girl looking at him adorably from the floor as a hand comes out of a nearby door and grabs her ass (again, we're not hosting that on our server, sorry). Enix was a young company at the time, these sorts of games were popular and perhaps it did what it felt it had to in order to succeed. In the end it was all worth it, though, because it means that now you get to play a fantasy game starring Mickey Mouse.
Be sure to pick up our new book where we have plenty of dong for you.
For more people of note who had skeletons boning each other in their closet, check out 6 Famous Geniuses You Didn't Know Were Perverts. Or learn about some famous folks who changed races to become famous, in 5 Celebrity Careers Launched by Ethnic Makeovers.
And stop by Linkstorm (Updated Today!) to discover which columnist was formerly a bear in movies. (We aren't talking about the animal.)
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