Oni Press has announced the new imprint Limerence Press that focuses on “adult” content and sex education, and this is significant for the industry. Its mission is to show positive, diverse experiences with sex and sexuality in all of its forms. As such starting out with Oh Joy Sex Toy by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan is a perfect place to start out with. The web comic is known for its reviews of sex toys and its sex positive message. The characters are not stereotypical models, and also show various forms of sexuality in the pages.
For the longest time pornographic comics have been shoved in a little corner of the comic book shop, and the fact that a major independent label has announced an erotic imprint marks a major shift in the industry. It marks more of an acceptance of sexuality, and not just the childish “boobies” version of that can be applied to other adult labels. Judging by the mission statement, we can expect to see the pornographic elements to explore the human experience. This is great progress as a society that has for so long run away from sexuality while embracing violence (which seems backwards to me, but who am I to judge). That said, while this is done by a major publisher, comic book shops won’t be putting the books on the standard racks were kids can see them, which may dampen the impact.
Going forward it will be interesting to see what other comics Limerence releases. The press release states that it will be feminist and queer friendly among other things. Though the press release only mentions Oh Joy Sex Toy there is no doubt that Oni Press has identified other creators for projects going forward, even if they are not ready to announce them. Limerence faces a difficult task to fulfill their mission statement, but there are smart people in charge so it should be fun to see what they announce next.