Evidently, “sensual horror” is not just how a Sig Ep partygoer feels in the morning about the night before. It’s an entire genre of graphic novel — nay, the only genre of graphic novel — available at News Haven on Chapel Street.
“Cthulhu Sex: Blood, Sex, and Tentacles”
The editors of this graphic novel compile poems, short stories, drawings and paintings from amateur artists (read: adults who would find nothing sexier than a 12-legged succubus whose dirty talk includes such phrases as “rotting human flesh,” “germinating fungal spore” and “Internet blog of doom”). Some of the articles, referred to as “revelations,” reveal fears about a society soon to be devoured by aliens, such as the poem “Where Meat Comes From.” Some are simply extraterrestrial S&M fiction, like the story “The Man Who Had A Death Wish,” which begins with the line “Mr. Jenkins, I want you to kill me.” Some of the stories are just plain lame, like James Chambers’ “The Feeding Things,” which can be rephrased as “This Creepy Guy Who Happens to Have Been Raised by Wolves Is Going to Do Some Creepy Things, If You Couldn’t Guess.” Artwork accompanying this story is every permutation of the cover of the Evanescence album “Fallen” imaginable, maybe with a few more appendages, volcanoes or bats involved. Cthulhu himself, H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional octopoid-humanoid embodiment of amorality, would expect a bit more gore out of this publication, or at the very least, more explicit ingestion of human souls. Tisk tisk, “Avatar/Publisher/Head Editor” Micael Amorel.
This April issue, which marks the publication’s first, is what the pre-teen goth store Hot Topic would be, were it a graphic novel. The first “graphic story,” titled “So Intense,” is the perfect synecdochic representation of the whole puerile endeavor. For example, the second page of this work of pubescent poeticism reads, “This guy used to go to very wild parties / and in one of those parties / he met a girl and fell in love with her. / The girl’s name was Mia!” Ah, the adherence to a rustic style of diction! Lo, the fast-paced rhythm, the spondaic monosyllables! Yea, the entirely necessary exclamation point in the last line! Wordsworth would be proud. He would especially love the pornographic representation of love, drawn so very carefully in oil pastel. Never before have so many two-dimensional butt cheeks grazed the same page. To ruin the ending of the story, the two fall in love and tattoo each other’s faces on their chests. Mia catches Joe cheating on her, and so shoots herself. Joe rides off angrily into the sunset on a motorcycle and somehow catches fire (aflame with passion!), burning off all of his skin, except for the tattoo of Mia(!). The story ends, “Everything about them was so intense!” Yawn. Predictable.
“Shy Girl: A Cinematic Graphic Novel”
But at least “Cryptic Magazine” has text. “Shy Girl” is composed of the following: blurry black-and-white drawings that might actually cause astigmatism, twin lesbian Japanese schoolgirls, a bra made of plastic bowls, a token robotic spider and the word “VRMMMMMMMM!” A tAtU video has a more coherent plot. There are, however, some redeeming qualities to be found in this flipbook of undulating cleavage. The purported setting is interesting, (“the nexus of reality and virtuality”), there’s a jab at Stephen Hawking, and there’s even a thinly veiled hymen joke. The main message of the novel is that time will always go on into the future. It’s bad when Seal is more creative than someone. Anyone.
For any Yalie bored with hours upon hours of Yeats, Eliot, or normal sex, graphic novels are the perfect mental sojourn.