No Chance For Men: The Eric Stanton's Sadomasochist Comics
While there is nothing in Spider-Man's stories that points to any sadomasochistic aspect, we must look from another angle, namely that of character creation, to realize that perhaps there is something that connects the arachnid hero to whips and ropes. From 1958 to 1968, Eric Stanton (1926 – 1999; born Ernest Stanzoni Jr.) shared a Manhattan studio at 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue with Steve Ditko, one of the creators of Spider-Man. Eric Stanton and Steve Ditko were friends and showed interest in each other's work. In one of his books, Eric Stanton would have drawn the paintings with India ink, while Steve Ditko would have painted them by hand.
According to Eric Stanton, he would have contributed to the creation of Spider-Man with regard to storyboards and some ideas "I think I added the business about the webs coming out of his hands". Eric Stanton's contact with the superhero universe is not limited to this episode. In the 1970s, Eric Stanton also created Blunder Broad with writer Andrew J. Offutt, producing adventures involving BDSM. Blunder Broad is a parody of Wonder Woman, who, failing in her missions, is tortured by her enemies, among them a lesbian supervillain named Leopard Lady and her male companion Count Dastardly. An important note: when subjected to cunnilingus, Blunder Broad loses her superpower. Anyway, as much as Eric Stanton may have approached superhero comics, his work covers comics from another perspective, one aimed at the adult audience, avid for sadomasochism stories.
From War To Comics
The son of an Italian father and a Russian mother, Eric Stanton was born in Brooklyn, New York. Fought in World War II for the US Navy. He was color-blind due to a head injury. After the war, he was an art assistant to Boody Rogers, creator of Sparky Watts, a satire on superheroes. He created a series of bondage fantasy chapters for Irving Klaw, who also sold pin-ups and movie stills. From there, Eric Stanton began his career in fetish art. In the early 1950s, he studied at The School of Visual Arts New York City (SVA NYC), with colleagues Jerry Robinson, Steve Ditko, and Gene Bilbrew.
Tame-Azons and Princkazons
Early in his career, Eric Stanton was inspired by John Willie. However, unlike John Willi, as Eric Stanton's later work would demonstrate, he did not love bondage, female submission, and torturous footwear. As he says in an interview:
"I have always loved amazons. The word Itself is exciting. I've invented variations; Tame-azons who tame men, and the Princkazons, who are women in every respect but have enormous pricks. Being short and a little shy as a young man, I loved the Idea of big strong aggressive women who would use their strength to wrestle me down and force me to have sex with them. It's a desire to be wanted, that kind of wanting that women take for granted from men, but men rarely experience from women. Easy sex, where a woman lies on a bed and you get on top of her, isn't very Interesting. I'm a man; I like a struggle, a conquest. I just happen to like being the loser, and then made to satisfy the female winner”.
His female characters are aggressive and fighting women, always ready to revert to a situation, in which they are submissive, to another, in which they dominate men, tying and whipping them. Thus, Eric Stanton subverts the sadomasochistic cliché of women being submissive creatures and men being sovereign, by transforming them into sadistic creatures, eager to take their victims to the thresholds of pain and pleasure.
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