Friday, Apr. 25, 2014

Going Deeper Underground with Robin Bougie, Publisher of Cinema Sewer [NSFW]

Written By:

|

March 26, 2012

|

Posted In:

Going Deeper Underground with Robin Bougie, Publisher of Cinema Sewer [NSFW]

Not everything that ends up in the sewer is garbage. Today’s guest has spent the better part of his career proving just that. Wallowing through the filth and grime of a world that most dare not tread – at least openly – Robin Bougie (publisher of Cinema Sewer magazine) has offered up some truly nut-busting moments of gonzo weirdness and cinematic nostalgia over the course of his journalistic career. What follows is a completely uncensored look into the “shamelessly sleazy” and uncontrollably arousing world of Bougie and his exploitative adventures through cinema’s spunk-filled seedier side.

WARNING! This article contains mature content and viewer discretion is advised… you’ve been warned.

For those unaccustomed to your special brand of sexual sleaze, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I wear a couple hats, but wear them all at once so that they make a big weird stupid-looking slab of headwear that sits on my noggin all weird. Firstly, I’m a film journalist with an emphasis and bias towards noodling about classic porn, vintage exploitation, drive-in, cult, horror, and grindhouse cinema. In that vein I publish an underground magazine called Cinema Sewer (now on it’s 25th issue, and with 3 collected books avail from publisher FAB Press) that comes out every February.

The other hat I wear is that of pornographer — a comic book artist that draws filthy porn comics that veer off into all kinds of strange and unexpected areas. I also produced a porn movie called THE CUMMING OF JIZZUS, and published a series of interview zines where I interviewed incestual couples, prostitutes, johns, and men who use naked pictures of their ex’s to get “revenge” on them. I also put out the dvd series RETARD O TRON, which is edited by my friend Roelewapper, who lives in Holland.

So as a pornographer would you consider yourself an “erotic artist” or a cartoonist with erotic tendencies?

Well, mostly everything I draw represents sexuality in some way, so I guess the first one. I have pretty varied interests outside my art and writing creative output, but when it comes to creating, it seems to be all that motivates me.

Are you ever turned on by your own work?

Absolutely. If what I’m drawing doesn’t titillate me in some way, it’s probably a good idea to chuck it out and start again. Even when I’m drawing something that is tailored to someone elses interests (I get a lot of requests for commissions from fans), and I’m drawing something that wouldn’t even occur to me to masturbate to, I have to find an angle that diverts somehow into one of my triggers. We all have pornographic triggers, even if we don’t know what they are. I’m pretty well in tune with mine.

Is there a difference between porn as smut/sleaze and “depictions of sexuality?” If so, how do you define it?

To me it’s all the same thing. There can be varying degrees (a demure profile of a nude form wouldn’t be easily confused with a splayed ass being penetrated by a giant dildo) but I don’t generally like to ghettoize smut the way mainstream society does. If it involves consenting adults, I don’t look down upon it or judge. I don’t see a difference between erotica and porn, because everyone brings their own set of luggage on that trip. It’s a very personal thing. What turns us on is just as personal as what makes us want to dance, or what we think is delicious, or whatever.

People tend to forget that what they personally find erotic or on the other hand, offensive, isn’t part of a set community standard, despite what the people who write our laws would have us believe. It’s all shades of grey, and that is what is so wonderful about it. I don’t have any guilt or shame wrapped up in what I do, but at the same time I absolutely love to use the carnival barker “voice” in my description of what I do, and to hype it up. I sell the sizzle and happily use the stereotypical shaming words like smut, degenerate, porn, sleaze, dirty, vile, scummy, deplorable etc. They’re all really great at conjuring up an aesthetic, a tone, and a vibe that I want to use in my both my illustrative work and my wordsmithery. There is a wonderful filthy history attached to them, going back to the 42nd street of Times Square in New York in the 60s, 70s, and early 80s, and the red light district of Amsterdam in that same era. It is a rich and visceral aesthetic history — and it is a history that I mine for my work. I’m very enthusiastic about it! I really want people to see what I see in it, and it’s a real joy for me to share it.

Who are some of your biggest artistic influences?

In no particular order… for comic artists it would be Greg Irons, Robert Crumb, Alex Toth, Herge, my wife Rebecca Dart, Jack Davis, Josh Simmons, Liberatore, Serpieri, Bob Fingerman, Kurt Schaffenberger and Dave Cooper. From the world of illustration and commercial art it would be Robert McGinnis, Danny Hellman, Range Murata, Norm Saunders, Norm Eastman, Coop, Earl Norem, and Charles Copeland. In terms of sleaze journalism, it’s all about Dian Hansen, Adam Parfrey, Josh Alan Friedman, William Rotsler, and Susie Bright. That is my roll call of awesomeness!

From the other side of the desk, you’ve been publishing your own comics since 1991. Where did the interest in comix and cartooning come from?

Started like most kids do, reading superhero comics like X-Men and Daredevil. Then in junior high I found Heavy Metal magazine, and realized that you could have comics about sex and weirdness, and that medium of comics was only as limited as the imagination of the person making them. That was bigtime. So then in my teens it was the early 90s, and the resurgence of the underground comic scene arrived. That was when I discovered stuff like Love and Rockets, Hate, Eightball, Ramba, Yummy Fur, Peep Show, Marc Bell, and all of Robert Crumb’s work. There were also two very important documentaries that I got to see in my teens that directed me to where I am now: Ron Mann’s Comic Book Confidential and Terry Zwigoff’s Crumb.

How did those early comix prepare you to create Cinema Sewer?

Well, discovering that stuff and the scene that revolves around underground comics and zines really instills you with a sense of “I can do comics with without anyone elses help.” You don’t need a publisher, you don’t need to wait to be discovered, and you don’t need to be “good enough”, whatever that means. Pre-internet that was huge. Today everyone has a blog and everyone thinks their opinion should be seen by everyone, but back then it was a rare thing. Zines and self publishing were a way to enter into that internet dynamic before it even existed — a way to send your words and pictures out into the world without you being there. A way to give your work a life of its own. That’s very special. That is the magic of print, I guess. Cinema Sewer is the by-product of that, and it reads like it. I try to incorporate all the research of an academic paper, and all the personality of a letter from a friend.

It really shows! Each book reads like a pastiche of a comix anthology, handwritten journal and a term paper of cult films.

It’s entirely an aesthetic choice. In fact, I have to type everything out ahead of time so I can compose my thoughts easier, and so that I can spell check it all. Then I print that out, and use it as a guide so I can do the hand lettering. Like I mentioned before, I want it to feel very personal — like a letter from a friend. I want to emphasize to the reader that Cinema Sewer is just me and a few of my creative pals. Not a company. Not a corporation. The hand lettering goes a long way to bonding what I have to say to the reader’s psyche. Getting past their wall. It’s something I’ve been working on for thousands of pages now — getting my lettering better and better, and figuring out layout and how best to make a page work and have it be inherently readable and pleasing.

Speaking of which, you just released a new issue last month, a milestone in fact (#25). What can readers expect from this latest edition?

Issue 25 turned out great. It has a wonderful history of 1970s Nazisploitation grindhouse movies written by David Hinds — films like Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS, and Gestapo’s Last Orgy. I wrote an ode to the incredible daredevil documentaries of the 70s called “Breakneck Thrills!”. Those were movies about stuntmen like Evel Knievel and Canada’s own Ken Carter who tried to jump a car an entire mile across the St. Lawrence seaway. Insane shit. Then we have an entry into the Cinema Sewer hall of fame for the big-titted queen of 70s men’s magazines, Roberta Pedon. I reveal a lot of little known facts about her sad but fascinating life.

Oh yeah, and then there is The Legend of the Orgasm Bike!. That is a japanese porn movie where they attach a dozen little cameras all over a bike that is specially designed to give women orgasms as they ride it. Then they hired 8 of the japanese porn industry’s most notorious squirters (hooray for female ejaculation!) and have them ride all around Tokyo with no underwear under their skirts — as their eyes roll into the backs of their heads and they try not to wipe out into people! Japan is the best! On top of all that we’ve got fully illustrated reviews of YoungBlood, Tokyo Decadence, Le Femme Objet, Bare Behind Bars, Monkey Hustle, Sunset Strip, Streets of Fire, Rage, Fighting Mad, Megaforce, Sex in the Comics, and actually a lot more. It’s 44 pages, so it would take me a lot of time to mention it all. You get quite a bit of bang for your four bucks.

It’s clear that Cinema Sewer are meant to be simultaneously sleazy, hilarious and offensive. How much of planning goes into each issue to make this balance work?

Well, each 200 page collected book is 80 pages of the best of the magazines, and 120 pages of brand new material, or other work that has appeared in other magazines. I come out with one every 2 or 3 years, and mostly I just try to make each book better than the last one. So far I think I am, because I like book 3 a lot more than book 1. Keep striving to be better, right? Can’t lose that way!

You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that you’re a big fan of exploitation films and classic porn. What do these two genres have in common that make them so engaging to you?

They are unapologetic. They are designed to get a reaction and to titilate. They are so eager to please you that they are willing to throw out nearly everything that conventional wisdom would tell us is realistic and “normal” — but above all else, they are fun to write and draw about. It’s that fun factor that gets me. It really gets me.

I’m willing to bet that you’ve come across some pretty messed up movies over the years. What’s one of the strangest films you’ve seen?

Oh, I don’t know man. Every time I think I’ve seen the weirdest thing, the next day I find something else to get jazzed about. That’s why I do what I do, I guess — the wonderment of discovery. My answer to this question would be different every time I’m asked it, and I do get asked it a lot, but I can tell you about what I saw last night that made my eyes bug out. It was a 1970s kung-fu porn film from China called KUNG FU COCKFIGHTER. Oh my god — I don’t even know where to begin. This bald martial artist basically uses his wang like Bruce Lee uses his hands. The motherfucker is splitting mellons, jizzing like Superman, spinning on his pecker, and whipping it around like a superfreak! Amazing! It’s rare, but here, someone posted a clip from it on their site – check it out here.

On the other end of the speculum, what are a few films no one would expect you to have seen or liked? I remember hearing Xanadu and The Muppets being tossed around on Tumblr.

Yeah, I’m a total sucker for puppetry and stop motion miniatures. Anything, even entertainment for little kids, will have every bit of my attention if it has got that. I can’t get enough of Jim Henson, bless his soul. Watched Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas just before the new year, and it nearly brought me to tears, bro. And yeah, I love late 70s and early 80s disco and rollerskating movies like Xanadu, Roller Boogie, Skatetown USA, The Apple. And I don’t mean ironically, I mean I genuinely LOVE them.

I don’t really do irony, and I don’t dismiss the low budget crap I watch as “bad” movies. If its good enough to entertain an audience and make them laugh or shake their head in disbelief, it’s not “bad.” A huge amount of people misuse that word when talking about genre films. A bad movie is one that you can’t even manage to sit through without falling asleep, or can’t remember ever having watched, and no one is ever going to forget watching Plan 9 From Outer Space, The Room, or Xanadu. Bad movies, my ass!

It seems we’ve reached the end of our time, Robin, but before you go… what’s the strangest thing you can remember doing as a kid?

Fucking my cat.

*Laughs* Let me explain: you know when you’re a young boy just discovering masturbation and you’re just realizing that different methods, temperatures and surfaces give different tingles? The ladies won’t know what I’m saying here, but you fellahs do! Yeah you do! I see you there… Well, one day when no one else was in the house I got it into my head that maybe rubbing my cock on my cats back would be awesome. haha it was, but I don’t think the cat enjoyed it very much. He’d growl and hiss as I grinded against him. Thankfully (and much to the relief of my cat, I imagine) I moved on soon after when I discovered that girls were really neat. God, kids are gross.

Wanna check out the latest issue of Cinema Sewer or submit Robin an art commission? Then be sure to stop by the Cinema Sewer Shop to fulfill all of your filthy, dirty urges – we’ll see you there!

Share This Article

Related News

SULLENGREY Co-Creator Drew Rausch Talks Fear and Self-Loathing [Interview]
HALLOWEEN MAN Gets Resurrected At Monsterverse Entertainment [Interview] – Part 2
HALLOWEEN MAN Gets Resurrected at Monsterverse Entertainment [Interview] – Part 1

About Author

Rondal

Rondal is the Editor-in-Chief of Strange Kids Club and a creative instigator who tackles each day with Red Bull-induced enthusiasm and a mind for adventure. Rondal has written for other sites including Rue Morgue, Fuel Your Illustration and Bloodsprayer. His obsession with horror movies, 80s animation and action figures is considered unhealthy by medical professionals.

  • Martin Luther Presley

    That was a really great interview. I’m a big fan of Cinema Sewer and this article was very interesting and amusing, just like CS itself!
    Cheers,
    MLP

    • http://www.strangekidsclub.com Rondal

      Thanks Martin! Robin is a naturally interesting guy so he made the entire interview a breeze. I can’t wait to check out his latest issue of CS for myself.