There’s an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, an axiom I happen to agree with. However, there’s nothing to say just what those words are, or what story they tell. Does the picture encapsulate a thousand words of mere description for what you’re seeing, or does it tell a deeper story about what the artist wanted to represent? Or perhaps they don’t tell a story at all, but simply babble at the viewer incoherently. Believe it or not, this was the train of thought I had as I paged through Incarna Comics’ Erotic Fantasy Art #1.
Drawn by famed comic artist F. Newton Burcham, Erotic Fantasy Art #1 is a compilation of nineteen of his pictures, plus a front and back cover which also have his work on them. Each picture is in full color, taking up a single page. Other than the sparse writings on the covers, there’s no text to be found here, which is understandable given that it’s a collection.
In terms of the collection being “erotic” it’s more soft-core than anything else. Most of the women are topless, and virtually all are wearing a thong which nicely shows off their bottom, but that’s it. Don’t expect any full-frontal nudity, to say nothing of intercourse – almost none of these pictures even involve another person (and the one that does has someone painting the pinup girl in the picture).
Roughly the first third of the book (all the pictures that are in the preview) are drawn a weird, almost psychedelic style. These seem almost like altered photographs, often with a background of swirling colors and strange images. After these end, however, the pictures begin to change styles, never reverting back to those first few.
Instead, the rest of the book consists of (what seems to me) various pencil and marker drawings, though still displaying various scantily-clad girls. These were of a style I know I’d seen before, though I couldn’t put my finger on where, and in all honesty should have been what appeared in the preview, since they make the book look much better. A significant portion of these latter images were of various barbarian-looking amazons, usually wearing just a fur loincloth, often with a big cat or two crouched next to them. It was high fantasy cheesecake in the most classic sense.
Ultimately, Erotic Fantasy Art #1 is a book that has some very evocative pieces done in a classic style; it just doesn’t put its best foot forward, making you wade through several pictures that, while still sexy, are a little too “out-there,” before finally revealing the good stuff. Still, the vast majority of what’s here has a familiar sexiness that any fan of fantasy artwork is sure to enjoy.