Challenging Taboos

Challenging Taboos

Eros Graphic Albums 5 and 6 - Ironwood - Bill Willingham

Bill Willingham when asked by Eros Comix: "I thought, “what the hell!” Had often wondered whether I could do an adult comic and have an interesting story as well that held together.  The answer I found was: probably not.
I tried!  Ironwood was 11 issues and some people liked the story, and there are aspects of the story I like, but the formula — the implied contract — that you owe the average reader one arousal, or potential arousal, per issue overshadowed everything else.  “This is a nice story, but get some dirty stuff in there, for God’s sake!”  —  Guess I’m a boring guy, 'cause was running out of ideas on how to get people off.  I didn’t just want to do the same thing over and over again, because that would just be…creepy.  Thinking it was a failed experiment with a few things that I’m still fond of within it.  Yes, that was certainly an interesting time in my career."

In the dark forest of Ironwood, somewhere between the Goblin Kingdoms and the Human Lands, the villainous Sulimon Canto has hired Fantasia Faust, a killer who uses sex as a weapon, to steal something called the Lazarus Knife from errant ship captain Pandora Breedlswight. But the beautiful Pandora has some allies in the form of adventurer Dave Dragavon, the hero for hire: brave, powerful and above all ... horny, and the polite but deadly demon Hugo Wormfire. Sword and sorcery exploits mix with tantalizing and bizarre sexploits, but the overall effect is that of a fairly coherent narrative, and not just an excuse to show drawings of naked people (or, in this case, naked monsters and centaurs, too).

The protagonist of the 11 issue series seems to have been the source of inspiration for one of Willingham's later more successful creations, Jack Horner (star of Jack of Fables).
He has done two Ironwood short stories which were not sexually graphic. Both stories were published in issues of Mythography. One was a three-page comics story and the other was a short text story with a couple of illustrations.

Bill Willingham Website

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