Pornographic comic takes bite from Kickstarter


Courtesy Megan Rose Gedris

Megan Rose Gedris is known for her fantasy-driven themed comics that focus on fun, sex positivity and strong female characters and is a notable dancer and costume designer in Chicago.


The “Made in Chicago” label now extends beyond hot dogs, deep dish pizza and jazz music to include the coming publication of an erotic comic that started as an internet exclusive and is being funded via Kickstarter. 

Cartoonist, writer and burlesque performer Megan Rose Gedris is self-publishing her comic, “Eat Me,” through Kickstarter after the book’s successful two-year run on, an adult erotic comic website that features pornographic work mainly done by female artists.

Gedris, who writes under the pseudonym Rosalarian, said it was time for “Eat Me,” a.k.a. “Sex, Drugs and Maki Roll,” a fantasy comic about women as food who get sexually pleasured, to be enjoyed not only on the internet but also through a print edition. She said having actual copies of her book is important to have physical evidence of her work.

“I like having an archive of things I made,” Gedris said. “I still prefer to read books in my hand, and I know a lot of other people do, too.”

Because Filthy Figments is a paid membership site, Gedris said she wanted to make her comics more accessible to a wider community, understanding that not everyone is willing to pay for erotic comics, especially when so much porn content is easily available on the internet for free.

“I do understand that not everyone wants to subscribe to a site to read something, so this is an opportunity for people to pay once and get the whole story,” she said.

Gedris is turning to the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to raise money to publish her book as she did with her last two erotic comics.  Building on that success, she decided to whet readers’ appetites once again for illustrated erotica.

Gedris’ “Eat Me” campaign, which has currently raised more than $9,000 of its $10,000 goal and ends May 6, has an incentive for people to back her project—an extra chapter of storyline, Gedris said. A bonus chapter will be added if the project raises $30,000, and Gedris said she wrote an epilogue—making her book 18 chapters—since its run on the internet.

Gedris said the rapid success of her Kickstarter campaign proves there is a strong market for erotic art both digitally and physically, which has seen a spike in recent years, she said.

“It wasn’t until this boom of erotic comics that I was able to make a living out of comics,” she said. “People will pay a lot of money to read erotic comics in a way that they don’t necessarily do with non-erotic content.”

Marissa Cohen, an enthusiast who studied comics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2012 to 2014, said the quality of the artwork and the sex positivity that is common to millennials have helped mainstream this type of work.

“Graphic novels are worth the money because you can see the hard work that goes into the art,” Cohen said.

Gedris sells her work at sex shop Taboo Tabou, at 843 W. Belmont Ave., and at the comic store Quimby’s at 1854 W. North Ave. She said she hopes to expand her collection to more stores in the city with “Eat Me.”

Hollis Dorscy, department head of Taboo Tabou, said Gedris is a great comedian, which is expressed in her work. Although customers do not purchase erotic comics frequently at the shop, she said the market is expanding.

“[People are] not necessarily coming in for purchasing, but it is definitely something we push as a bachelorette gift or something like that,” Dorscy said, a fan of Gedris’ work.

Lakeview sex shop Pleasure Chest, 3436 N. Lincoln Ave., only sells one pornographic novel, said employee Ashley Allen. However, she said the store could see a rise in erotic comics in response to the increasing societal acceptance of sex positivity.

“I would like to contribute that to the millennial generation,” Allen said. “The way we are talking about sex, thinking about sex, reacting to sex is changing—we are starting our own sexual revolution, kind of akin to the ‘60s.”