“What is Obscenity?”

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A recent addition to the Schulz library, in the deluge of Slate Prize books, is What Is Obscenity?: The Story of a Good-For-Nothing Artist and Her Pussy by Rokudenashiko. This is a ridiculously timely comic by a Japanese artist who was arrested and prosecuted for art made from molds of her vulva, her manko art. She was (and is) using her cute artistic take to address a serious issue—it boils down to sexism. Even though the events take place in Japan, we can all see the same issues all over the world.

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The story is told in first person using classic manga-style story telling, reminding me on occasion of the more emotional moments in Full Metal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa.  But Rokudenashiko also includes, between chapters, essays and photos explaining some of the more nuanced details of the story that a standard American audience might not know. Like what is Mammy?

Spread-Mammy

Rokudenashiko uses the same method to fight for what she believes is good and right in her comics as she does with her manko art. The story is sweet and enraging and sad. The art is adorable. The story is clear. Rokudenashiko is fighting the best way a cartoonist knows how, through comics.

Librarian Jarad Greene taking a quick peruse

Librarian Jarad Greene (’17) taking a quick peruse

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About Angela Boyle

Angela is an alum at the Center for Cartoon Studies (class of 2016), and a natural science illustrator. She hails from Washington state and has 2 corgis, Nisa and Ernie. View her work at angelaboyle.flyingdodostudio.com.
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