6 Famous Artists You Didn't Know Were Perverts
For artists, hard times equals porn. Turns out the "I Was Young and Needed the Money" cliche doesn't apply just to actors; some respected writers, cartoonists and even game companies have also turned to smut during desperate times.
For example ...
Superman's Creator Did Bondage Porn (Seriously)
What You Know Him For:
Joe Shuster co-created Superman with Jerry Siegel, and you may have also heard about the pair's other creation, Funnyman, which was, until recently, believed to be the most undignified thing the artist ever drew. But then the world discovered this ...
But He Also Did:
A whole lot of illegal S&M and bondage comics.
Those shoes look terribly uncomfortable.
These comics were so nasty they were banned by the Supreme Court. Their publisher, a mobster turned porn peddler, was sentenced to prison because of them. The only reason Shuster wasn't arrested too is that no one knew who drew these books until recently, when they were accidentally discovered in a used bookstore by a comics historian.
It's not every day that you go home with a historic discovery AND something to wank to.
The timeline makes sense, too: The stories were produced a few years after Shuster quit DC over a dispute involving Superman rights, and by all accounts he was having a pretty hard time paying the bills during this period -- at one point he even worked as a deliveryman. At least this gig offered him a chance to put his talents to use. Like, for example, by drawing a dude using a woman's butt cheeks as bongos.
The old "butt bongos" technique.
The comics, which were sold "under the counter," depicted a wide variety of torture acts, such as horse whipping, paddle spanking and hanging folk upside down. But that's not the most disturbing part here: that would be the fact that a lot of these drawings seem to depict intimate scenes from the marriage of a certain Mr. and Mrs. Clark Kent.
Superman likes it when the landlady watches.
Wait, this guy invented Superman and Rule 34? A true visionary. OK, so maybe the resemblance wasn't fully intentional. After all, there were only so many ways Shuster could draw muscular men and attractive girls. .. but that doesn't explain what Lex Luthor is doing here:
Touching himself, probably.
A bald, evil-looking guy in the midst of enacting a diabolical plan? That's a pretty specific look there. Even Jimmy Olsen wasn't safe from being dragged into this sorry situation, despite the fact that no one could possibly want to look at Jimmy Olsen porn.
This looks pretty innocent until you realize that nothing indicates he's wearing pants.
So what could Shuster possibly gain by soiling his characters like this? Well, DC famously paid only $130 for the rights to Superman, so it's understandable that after falling on hard times, he'd want to get back at them with a little "fuck you." As we'll find out later, he wasn't the only one.
Gene Roddenberry's Sexploitation Film
What You Know Him For:
Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry created the original series, oversaw the first movie and sat back to cash in the royalty checks from the 200 other spin-offs. But between the cancellation of the first series and the film, things weren't working out so well. After trying his luck with a string of sci-fi TV pilots that never took off, he decided that his reputation was best left untarnished and that he should either wait for another Star Trek opportunity to come along or fade into obscurity with dignity.
Retirement would give him a chance to engage in his true love: shopping for ever-larger horn-rimmed glasses.
But He Also Did:
Just kidding. He actually went and made a film about a gym teacher having sex with high school girls.
In 1971, Roddenberry co-wrote and produced Pretty Maids All in a Row, his only non-Star Trek film credit, which makes up for the lack of intercourse in his other work by featuring lots of it. The film starred Rock Hudson as Tiger, a high school gym teacher who acts as sort of a guidance counselor to his young students, helping them deal with their issues by introducing them to his penis.
"Jenny, you need to apply yourself more in algebra. By licking my balls."
Rock Hudson had not planned to grow that magnificent porn 'stache you see there: It simply came to be as soon as he stepped onto the set. He takes a virgin boy under his wing (basically, the same character from every movie made in the 80s), encouraging him to try his chances with a substitute teacher played by Angie Dickinson. Luckily for the boy, Dickinson happens to be a degenerate child molester too.
Pictured: Statutory rape.
But then some of the girls who attend the school, all of whom happen to look like Google search results for "nice boobs," start turning up dead. The sheriff's department sends Telly Savalas to investigate the murders, although for copyright reasons no one's allowed to call him Kojak (also because Kojak wasn't created till two years later). Meanwhile, more fucking.
"I'm sorry to hear about your problems at home, Ruth. I hope my inappropriate groping helps."
By the way, the movie also features a couple of Star Trek regulars: sadly, no Kirk or Spock (or Kirk and Spock), but Scotty himself shows up as Kojak's partner in investigating the tragically young and attractive naked bodies that keep turning up.
This was supposed to lead into the spin-off series: Scotty & Kojak: Private Dicks.
MGM did all it could to promote Roddenberry's first and only foray into the sexploitation genre, even getting a nine-page pictorial into Playboy magazine, but the movie still flopped pretty hard. Part of it may have been because one of the promotional posters carelessly revealed the identity of the killer, a mind-bending plot twist that we're considerate enough not to divulge here.
But here's the poster anyway.
Or maybe the audiences had a problem with the whole "teachers engaging in sex with underage students" part of the plot. Those prudes!
Archie Comics Artist: Boobs Master
What You Know Him For:
Dan DeCarlo drew Archie for almost 50 years, forever linking his easily recognizable art style with the gang from Riverdale. He was also the creator of Josie and the Pussycats and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The man was a true gold mine of inoffensive, insipid comic book characters.
It's almost enough to make The Big Bang Theory look worthwhile.
But He Also Did:
Hundreds of sexy drawings of barely clothed, large-breasted girls.
Before working for Archie, DeCarlo did pinups for a line of girlie digests called Humorama. Very few of them featured actual nudity, but holy shit -- most of those girls look exactly like Betty and Veronica with wigs (instead of clothes).
Jughead went on to do terrible things with that shotgun.
Believe it or not, these were actually supposed to be jokes -- if you looked closely, you could spot the "humorous" caption at the bottom. Anyone who laughed at these drawings, however, was clearly not using them for their intended purpose.
"Intended purpose" = boner.
The beautiful part is that Archie Comics (the company) is famously protective of its wholesome, family-friendly image: It's even gone as far as suing fan fiction websites or small theater companies for doing stories that suggest Archie might be gay (or actively straight, for that matter). For a while, it even produced a few Christian-themed comics starring Archie and the gang. This, of course, didn't stop generations of children from growing up wondering what Archie's curvaceous girlfriends looked like under their clothes, never suspecting that Mr. DeCarlo had settled that question long ago. Hundreds of times.
And the answer was: They look like strippers.
What's a little more unsettling, though, is that most of the men who are shown ogling at Betty and Veronica lookalikes are fat and middle-aged (this being the digest's primary demographic) ... meaning that in hindsight, they look pretty similar to Archie's principal, Mr. Weatherbee, and Betty's dad, Mr. Cooper.
Is there any chance this image represented anything other than prostitution?
Another curiosity: Some of those hilarious captions were written by a pre-Spider-Man Stan Lee -- but of course, we'd expect that from the creator of Striperella.
Superman Artist Draws the Man of Steel for Penthouse
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 ." 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.
Gore Vidal's Epic Porn Movie
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?
Enix's Fucked-Up Hentai Games
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.
Maxwell Yezpitelok lives in Chile, and when he isn't waiting for the next catastrophe, he likes to waste his time writing back to scammers or making stupid comics.
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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