Tag Archives: erotic comics

Mara Page 10

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For a change, I’m not going to track my visual influences here, In most of these blog posts I show people what inspired me, but I can’t really show you what inspired me because… it’s illegal to give you all DMT, I don’t have any DMT (and haven’t for 2 years), and I’m not so sure it’s a good idea to give you all DMT.

Whenever I talk about these pages I’m always asked, especially by students, “Should I take DMT?” and I answer that with questions, questions and strong warnings. Though I am a big believer in the beneficial properties of entheogenic substances, plant teachers and medicines, I’m also a big believer in responsible conscious use and timing. The timing of tripping is very important, take it before you are ready… and it can be a big disaster. I never took psychedelics at all until I was well into my adult life and knew what I wanted from them. I took psychedelics as a seeker, as a follower of Shiva, as a fellow sufferer, and I think you can tell, I did not take them lightly.

The page below is an impressionistic attempt to somehow convey in a black and white line drawing, what the DMT experience is like… which is an utterly impossible goal, other than that perhaps I have met the goal of showing what it feels like to have so much information coming at you so fast that you can’t take it all in.

Barefoot Justine Mara Pencils Page 10

Barefoot Justine Mara Pencils Page 10

Additionally, since Mara’s world is not a future world, or a dystopian vision of the future, it’s an alternate reality, the DMT in her reality resonates not only on the visual and reality shredding spiritual level, it also resonates at the erotic level, hence the entrance of the substance through her navel and the pulsation of her nipples.

This image is highly personal, the ring of panthers are from a dream I had while I was not on DMT, but that I know happened due to DMT. DMT changed my dreams, they began to hold messages, began to reveal things to me that I needed to see and to know. The central ring of jesters are similar to the ones I saw in the DMT realm, but that I later discovered had been painted on cave walls! And the center ring focuses on the toad, its eyes, it’s third eye, and the pouches that contain DMT… though I never had toad 5NMEO DMT, I thought the toad was a better visual symbol for the Mara story. The only other thing I think I really captured here is the way reality shatters once the DMT takes hold, or at least the filtered reality we are all familiar with.

One of the BIG stresses of this page was that I did not want to lose the looseness of the panther drawings, and needed to maintain the tightness of the panel borders, which were numerous and a nightmare to ink. I have to say that I always ink panel borders with a ruler, but in this case, it got so messy, I inked most of the borders freehand with a brush.

As it turned out, the inks came out better than I could have hoped for!

For the first time in this blog series, I am going to share with you the final inks!

Barefoot Justine Mara Page 10 Inks

Barefoot Justine Mara Page 10 Inks

Lastly, when I tell people that DMT forever changed me, people then ask, “for the better or for the worst?” And I don’t have an easy answer. Most definitely having your concepts of the nature of reality shredded is a difficult thing to deal with… would I want to go back to my limited notions of the nature of reality? I tell people the truth, it’s been challenging to readjust, but I have no regrets and I would not want to unlearn what DMT taught me, and I would not want to undo how DMT changed me.

My advice, proceed wisely, carefully, do your research, and really think about whether or not DMT is right for you. It was definitely right for me, and it sent me further down the spiritual path, and far faster than perhaps I thought myself ready for.

If you love what you are seeing, please note that I am creating these pages with a return of NOTHING, so I am seeking patrons. Monthly patronage would really help this project come along, and my patrons get all manner of cool exclusives: https://www.patreon.com/barefootjustine

Mara Page 9

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Become a Patron of Barefoot Justine’s: https://www.patreon.com/barefootjustine

I usually like to load my blogs with visual references, but to tell the truth, the story I am telling on this page is more about philosophical, political and spiritual references than visual ones. However, there is one major influence, or series of influences I can trace through for you here.

One of the things that has kept me interested in Mara as a project is somewhat hard to explain. I often have an idea, so I go seeking reference for that idea, or some film or comic that has the mood of that idea, and what I find rarely hits the mark, rarely sates the needs of my eyes as a viewer, of my mind as a reader. I then realize that the ONLY way what I want to see and feel is going to be seen or felt is if I make it. In other words, dare I say it, I feel that Mara is truly and genuinely unique. There’s nothing else quite like it.

Light Years

All that said, one obvious influence, perhaps even swipe, was from the movie “Light Years,” which contained an understated eroticism, but also was where I got the idea for a civilization of mutants that had been created by the power structure of the above-ground world. That whole concept really got stuck in my imagination and I began to riff on all the possibilities this contained for Mara’s world. In truth, in the original Mara, done a long long time ago, those mutants played a lesser role, but now they have become a driving force and in a way her guardians, guides, and often victimizers. For me I find the seeds of my ideas in the corners of other works, very often I respond most to a character, concept or aside than I do the major thrust of the story being told, and I think, “More could be done with that.”

In the end, though I was influenced by the mutants in “Light Years,” my mutants serve a different purpose and come from a different perspective, but to be fair to me, my mutants are not merely different in narrative purpose, but in that they are mostly composed of Frankensteinian pieces parts of animals and humans, thus separating them one degree further from “Light Years.”

In a sense my mutants are no more influenced by “Light Years” than by “Frankenstein,” and just as notably, by “Island Of Lost Souls,” MGM’s 1932 adaption of “The Island Of Dr. Moreau,” which is a “must see.” No less influential than the mutants was the concept of “The Panther Woman,” who has influenced not only Mara, but my own inner self.

Island Of Dr. Moreau

No less influential than “Island Of Lost Souls” was the 1977 film version of “Island Of Dr. Moreau,” in which, again, the animal-human mutants are very obviously seen, but what might not be immediately obvious is that here again, as in “Island Of Lost Souls” we see a return to my favorite fairy tale influences, “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as “Cinderella,” in that both contain barefoot beauties surrounded by beasts, filth and squalor. That contrast for me is as fascinating as that of the mix of pain and pleasure in sadomasochism.

So I think you can see that even something as simple as a “swipe,” once analyzed becomes far more complex. I have not merely “swiped” the ideas I loved from “Light Years,” that was merely the spark of inspiration, then came in other influences like “Frankenstein,” and “Island Of Lost Souls,” and “Island Of Dr. Moreau,” and it all mixed together with my own observations about how politicians use religion, and enslave God to serve their own perverted needs. In other words, once I get past the self-effacing notion that I have “swiped” something I begin to see the domino effect of numerous other influences just as important as the initial inspiration, then that all gets filtered through me, my life, and my output as an artist to become something that, in the end, bears very little resemblance to “Light Years” or any original source of inspiration. In a sense, all art is collage, we gather influences, ideas, passions, cut a bit from here, paste a bit from there, move things around, and create our own worlds from the ones we love. And hopefully in the end our collage looks more like us than it does our influences.

If you love what you are seeing, please note that I am creating these pages with a return of NOTHING, so I am seeking patrons. Monthly patronage would really help this project come along, and my patrons get all manner of cool exclusives: https://www.patreon.com/barefootjustine

Mara Page 7

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As Mara goes deeper and deeper down into her own self, her own struggles, and her understanding of her world, I guess it’s about time to go deeper about where her world, and in fact, mine, came from.

It was a long time ago, I picked up a copy of Warren’s “1984,” an uncommonly good issue, but two things really stood out, Frank Thorne’s “Ghita,” and Jose Gonzalez’s “Herma.” I was a really young artist when I found this, and this single magazine, probably as much as seeing the Hobbit in 4th grade, then later Star Wars, influenced me in a truly life changing way, it game me an artistic vision. When I saw those two masterpieces of exploitation and fantasy comics… I KNEW exactly what I wanted to do.

Needless to say, it seemed a miracle to me years later when I was headed to Frank Thorne’s studio to finally meet and talk with one of the artists who changed my life. Example below is scanned right from that ragged old copy of “1984.”

I managed to set up a meeting with Frank thanks to my fearless pursuit of mentorship. Fantagraphics had sent him some Mara to look at before they decided to pick up the series, and Frank sent back a bunch of notes and even some overlays in which he drew over my drawings to show me where I had gone wrong. These overlays were revelatory, but so was the fact that Fantagraphics had forgotten to black out Frank’s address and phone number, so, I called him. Immediately he let me know that any time I was in Jersey, I could stop by. Immediately I began planning a drive from Ohio to New Jersey, and through a raging blizzard, made my way to Frank Thorne’s studio… life and art changing event.

No less influential, and you’ll see this as you look at a lot of these images where Mara is descending stairs, was Jose Gonzalez’s exquisite “Herma,” though I never met Gonzalez, his work has had a profound influence over me, and below, again, is a scan from that very same ragged copy of “1984.” And if you look at the past couple pages, and pages to come, you’ll see the influence of his backgrounds in my work.

Oddly, as I have begun the inking process, I have been slowly draining those influences from the work and allowing my style to dominate… this I had not seen coming, but I am pleased at last to be happy enough with my own style to be allowing it to overcome the love of my influences.

If you love what you are seeing, please note that I am creating these pages with a return of NOTHING, so I am seeking patrons. Monthly patronage would really help this project come along, and my patrons get all manner of cool exclusives: https://www.patreon.com/barefootjustine

Mara Page 6

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The divine BB!

By this point, aside from Exploitation Cinema and classic illustration and Warren comics, I think I need to point out the influence of BB… Brigitte Bardot! Decades ago I was in a bookstore and saw this face staring up at me from the bargain table, I was young, didn’t know who she was, but I knew she was THE girl every artist I loved was drawing, the magnificent Brigitte Bardot. She was evident in the work of so many of the Warren artists.

And not just Bardot the “sex kitten,” but Bardot the role model, the mind, the woman. Her influence was not merely over Mara and my art, but over me, her honesty, her panther-woman attitude combined with her vulnerability, all of it has affected me deeply. In the end, her sensuality is often what I am seeking with each brushstroke. Without Bardot there would be no Mara, and in many ways, no Justine. If you haven’t seen “And God Created Woman,” do it, find it, see it, and do so without distraction.

I would rank her influence over me as highly as that of any artist, as highly as Beverly Sebastian, Rose O’Neill, Lotte Reiniger, Sulamith Wulfing, Doris Wishman, Nancy Friday, any of them. The beauty of eroticism and exploitation is that it is the playground not only of men and male fantasies, but of equally, if not far more perverse women. There is a lot of brilliance that shines through when an artist liberates themselves enough to work in this glorious gutter.

Also on this page is the obvious influence, not just of the monkey-like mutant, but the architecture, of “Planet Of The Apes.” I was influenced not only by the visuals and effects, not only by the kindness of Cornelius and the steadfast honesty of Zira, but by the fact that this was a fully realized world of make believe. I believed in “Planet Of The Apes!”

And here, perhaps more than anywhere else in the book, the influence of Exploitation begins to creep in.

And yes, I do think it’s important, before we go shaming Exploitation and eroticism as being a “mysoginist” playground for men… that much of the best erotica and Exploitation has been created by women… and I want to be among them, and I don’t want us to forget that we women can not only be as perverse and exploitive as men, but often far far more perverse, sadistic and exploitive. We’ll talk more about this theme later, but the above shot from “The Story Of O,” was of course based on a classic kinky novel written by a woman… Pauline Regae!

So… dig in, girls, this belongs to us, too!

But before I go I am pleading you, the fans, to help make Mara a reality. It takes a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice to make these dreams come true. Artists, historically, have lived off patronage, and we need patrons more than ever now. Please support me on Patreon and you will get some great exclusive insights and stuff. https://www.patreon.com/barefootjustine

Mara Page 5

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This page is, perhaps, the simplest one to break down regards visual influence, yet probably the most complicated to break down spiritually and metaphorically.

While looking over “Idyl” and “I’m Age” by Jeffrey Catherine Jones, I was taken by the extreme shift in line quality as Jeff transitioned from brush to pen. Though this page was influenced by Jeff’s work with a pen, I will ink it with a brush. Below I have included 2 examples, one from “Idyl” inked with a brush, and another from “I’m Age’ inked with a pen.

Notice what a distinct difference in line quality, Jeff having chosen to change not only the over all style of the work, but to fully engage in the possibilities of each tool, perhaps even exaggerating the qualities of each tool to their extremes.

I’ve lost a lot of people, and I don’t know why this is so, but the loss of Jeff Jones haunts me like no other loss. It has cut deep. Knowing and learning from Jeff was a profound experience, and I doubt I’ll ever have the likes of it again. All I hope to do is, one day when the right student comes along, pass it all on to him, her or all of them.

Back to me and my work, to tell the truth, I am intimidated by Mara page 5 page, while the pencils came out with shocking ease, I fear the inks may not, that I might become stiff… only time will tell. It will be my goal to ink with the same wise hand Jeff Jones had.

The real meat of this page comes from a trilogy of dreams I had in which spirit guides, 3 different animals, came to me on 3 different nights of prophetic dreams. Rather than reiterating all that here, if you are interested, I have written extensively about those dreams. As Mara is a mythologized autobiography, I will be incorporating all 3 of those dreams into the story.

The first dream, about the Panther, you can read about by following the link below:

https://barefootjustine.com/2017/07/28/the-three-dreams-dream-1-the-panther/

The appearance of this panther has since become an important aspect of my internal and spiritual life. Once, when hounded by a territorial dog, I manifested the panther in my eyes, allowed it to possess my body, and frightened the dog with the panther’s stare, so much so that it literally slinked away with its tail between its legs. The Panther woman in me is strong, and I should call on her more often.

Prior to this dream I had been obsessed with The Panther Woman from “Island Of Lost Souls,” the fabulous film starring Charles Laughton based on “The Island Of Dr. Moreau.” The Panther Woman in that film is a character I relate to at the deepest level.

Barefoot, beautiful, vulnerable and wild…

Mara Page 4

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To help me make this dream come true, to help bring these visions and fantasies to light, become a patron of the arts: https://www.patreon.com/barefootjustine

By this point I knew, without a doubt, that this entire book was going to be based on the work that most influenced me, the work from the Warren Publications, “1984,” “Creepy,” “Eerie,” and even “Vampirella,” and artists like Alex Nino, Frank Thorne, Esteban Maroto, and especially Jose Pepe Gonzalez. Though to be honest, I have only recently become obsessed with Pepe’s work. See below, Jose Pepe Gonzalez inking with markers (a rarity).

I became obsessed with Jose Pepe Gonzalez after viewing the brilliant “Love Strip” documentaries about him and his work, find those on Youtube, they are brilliant. I fell in love with his odd mix of easy looseness and tight perfection, and through the film, his tragic personality, innocence, humor and a childishness that contributed to his downfall. Flawed artists, it seems, are attracted to other flawed artists.

And as I said before, I do a lot of research, not just into the art I love, but into anatomy, animals, how fat works, how wrinkles work, all these things influence me deeply. I am a research junkie, and fear I sometimes use it as a crutch.

I think the things that have most deeply influenced me have been Exploitation films, so I will be talking a lot about Exploitation films and directors as these blogs ramble on. To tell the truth, those films probably had as much if not more influence over me than any comics or art, especially the work of directors like Jess Franco and Jean Rollin, both of whom created images so audacious that the have continued to haunt me, for example, the below image from Jean Rollin’s “Fascination.”

Jean Rollin "Fascination"

Jean Rollin “Fascination”

But perhaps the imagery that has most haunted my erotic imagination comes from the great Master himself… Libertine, Sadeian, and genius… Jess Franco!

His absolute fearlessness and willingness to explore his darkest deepest fantasies, and on the lowest of budgets, remains an inspiration. Jess was a visionary, a hack, a madman and a master. He loved to show his heroines in all their glamorous glory one moment, and in their greasy bug-bit misery in the next. He explored any fetish that crossed his mind, yet remained always true to his nature as a voyeur. His shots are so consistently voyeuristic, so often we view his films as if we were a pervert hiding behind the plants in the apartment, or peeping through a mirror or window. Come to think of it, I need to play more with those visual themes as this project progresses past the first issue.

I think you can see in the bedraggled beauty below, just how significant an influence Jess Franco has had on me.



And, last but not least, to help me make this dream come true, to help bring these visions and fantasies to light, become a patron of the arts:
https://www.patreon.com/barefootjustine

To take Justine’s classes: https://learn.sawcomics.org/collections/justine?q=

The Goddess and the Whore

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Drawing, or at least living for it, has turned me into a beggar. THAT, was not my dream, rather a betrayal of it. My dream was “To make a living as an artist,” never to starve, never to go months without any income, never to become an internet whore.

I share my art on Facebook (which I hate), and resent that I have to dance with that devil to to attend a party, that had I gotten an invite, I would have thrown it away. It doesn’t matter if you’re any good or not anymore, it matters how well you market, how charming you are… how many friends you have (on Facebook, no less?). Art is a popularity contest. Let’s just say this… in high school… I was not winning any popularity contests. Quite frankly, the modern way of doing things has exhausted me. So much so, that I am not even sure if what I want is worth the price I’m having to pay.

What I dreamed of doing, of being, is not there for me, and I’m not sure if it’s not there for me anymore because I’ve lost the hunger to pursue it all over again, or if it’s simply not there anymore. This world is not my home, this construct is not the one I had prepared myself for. This maya is rubbing me the wrong way.

So, what do I do? I launch a Patreon site, begging people to love me, to love my work, to send me money, like one of those people on a street corner with a cardboard sign, or far worse, like a someone in marketing. All I’m told now is I have to market myself to make it in the current climate… hell, had I wanted to go into marketing, I would have gotten a marketing degree. Had I wanted to win popularity contests I would have gone into politics. No, this world is not my home, this world has reduced me to a beggar, a marketer, and a narcissistic politician… a fucking whore. And the worst part isn’t that I don’t know how to do any of this, it’s that I don’t want any fucking part of it. Fuck Facebook! The fact that I am on it at all leaves me feeling, for the very first time in my life, like a fucking sell-out.

I have sold out, I am on Facebook, I am on Patreon, and to add insult to injury I am selling out for a pittance, for so little I cannot even pay the rent. Not only am I whore, I’m a cheap whore. But I’m in this squalor now, I’ve settled into this culture’s muck, and I’m going to have to learn to live with the smell of this sewage with every breath.

I’m going to have to put up with the assholes on Facebook who insult me because they misread my tone. I have to deal with men with fragile egos who defend themselves against offers of daises.

But my work, my Mara, is the same as she ever was, pure, a dark reflection of my soul.

Mara, a soul nourished on a diet of forbidden fairy tales.

Mara, an entity that rose up from the fertile soil of my struggles and insights.

She is all that is left of the purity of my ego.

The Mara story is my story, and I am Mara. I may have become a whore, I may have sold out as a human, but Mara, my work, is as pure as it ever was, in fact, more pure by far. I have sold out everything but Mara, she remains a demon and a goddess bound in the jungle of my ego, released through the grinding of my pencil as it scratches, seeks, sometimes fails but usually finds her on the page.

Welcome, Justine Mara Andersen, to the field of opposites, to the dualities of being, of being an artist.

And welcome Mara, too, because what has tainted me will be your cross to bear as well. My weariness will reflect in your eyes.

I will suck the cock of social media, but Mara will forever be a virgin. Her purity will have to carry me through this mire.

I will seek redemption through Mara, as I always have. I am willing to get my hands dirty and dance with these devils if I can keep her breathing. And you can help me keep her breathing.

May her feet stay bare and stray from harm.

If you want to see Mara come to life, if you want to become a patron of the arts, I am asking you to do so. Your contributions will help feed me and keep me alive, it will keep Mara running barefoot through her adventures, it will allow her to grow, perhaps beyond the bounds of Facebook. Help me help Mara, and you’ll get cool exclusive stuff, stuff about the process, scans of the work in progress, and the pleasure of knowing that the money you are donating is making a direct and immediate impact.

To become my patron: https://www.patreon.com/barefootjustine