On New Year’s Eve, The Hairpin posted “Size Matters,” an excellent interview with Anne Ishii conducted by our pal Chris Randle! The thoroughly entertaining and edifying conversation touches on everything from translation to Tenga to gender and the appeal of gay manga to female audiences:
Anne: […] I don’t really have a theory as to why women are attracted to narratives about gay sex, but it is very determined, what straight women go for. Or actually gay women for that matter, many of whom have told me that they are big fans of Tagame’s work, for example, but not necessarily of some of our other artists. Even though a lot of women do like man-on-man sex in comics, it’s not all man-on-man sex comics. So, like, obviously there’s yaoi and BL, which is created almost exclusively by women, but even in the hardcore realm—it’s not necessarily Jiraiya, for example, most of his fans are dudes. Tagame’s big.
Maybe one of many themes that translates to women is—not just the idea of displacing body issues or displacing gender roles, but getting down to that nutty core of desire. I don’t think Tagame’s work is just about men loving men, it’s really about how dark desire can be. And that’s different from the humour of Poohsuke’s work or the absurdity of Ebisubashi’s work or the celebration of male corporeality in Jiraiya’s work. That’s a theme I think women gravitate towards.
Read the whole interview with Anne over at The Hairpin! <3