Pros: Nice artwork. Rebecca's imagination. Gorgeous women
Cons: None, but this series is not for everyone.
In the late 1940s, coinciding with the post-World War II economic and Baby Booms, various comic book writers and artists created a new genre aimed at returning war veterans and the women they dated or married - the romance comic.
Initially intended for the 20-something set, these comics were drawn by the same artists that had worked on such superhero lines as Batman, Black Hawk and Superman. But instead of telling tales of super-feats and super-villains, romance comics focused - without violating the Comics Code, of course - on the ups and downs of young love, dating, marriage and - sometimes - infidelity.
And for almost 25 years these romance comics - with their incredibly handsome men and perfectly beautiful women and upper middle class Americana - were sold in the same places one would expect to find issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, Superman, The Incredible Hulk and Sergeant Rock.
That is, until the turbulent 1960s and '70s, Vietnam, the civil rights and women's lib movements, Watergate and the Sexual Revolution made those once revolutionary "relationship" comics seem quaint, idealized, innocent and even phony.
Of course, the artist known as Rebecca (a now 40-something mom of two) probably read a few of these romance comics and, because she (admittedly) finds other women attractive, decided to meld the idealized stylings of the genre with the equally-idealized look of the pin-up girls of the 1940s, mixed it with a great deal of sex and nudity, hooked up with Eros Comix and Voila! The Housewives at Play series was born.
Now, though I'm not a big consumer of either porn movies or erotic literature (I've got two adult DVDs and a few books about sex), I will gladly admit that I do enjoy both as long as the material is nicely produced and the people depicted in it are gorgeous.
I'll also own up to the fact that, like many straight guys, I like seeing a little girl-on-girl action. I don't know why this is, but seeing two attractive women making out- even fully clothed - is one of my biggest turn ons.
In Housewives at Play: Sugar and Spice, Rebecca reprises her technique of "a picture is worth a thousand words" by giving readers 48 pencil-drawn sketches of 20-to-40-year-old women in loving, sensuous encounters.
As in the other Housewives at Play collections that I own, the sex is between two consenting women. Sometimes the action is almost like that seen on shows such as Heroes and Desperate Housewives, where fully clothed women sometimes have unexpected and hot liplocks.
Other times, though, Rebecca does get explicit, with nudity, depictions of oral sex and the use of sex toys.
Considering that the series has been around for over 10 years and has spun off such follow-ups as Teens at Play, it is probably worth noting that Rebecca's audience includes both men and women. Her style is both simple yet very detailed, and though none of the 48 pages have any thought or dialog balloons, she still manages to convey the emotions of the moment she is capturing.
Needless to say, the erotic nature of Housewives at Play: Sugar and Spice is not for readers under the age of 18. There is no violence or truly gross stuff, but it does have lots of Sapphic sex and nudity.