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The Agency
Fantagraphics

Comic Books

‘The Agency’ is modern underground comix at its best

Sexual science fiction and psychedelic ride with an addictive art style and a passionate love for the medium.

If anything dominated the comic book industry in the 1960s to 1970s, it was romance and science fiction. The two genres found themselves colliding frequently with superhero fiction and, most curiously enough, erotic fiction. Long have comic book readers wanted more than anything to pick up their comic books and see their hero fall for an alien from Mars who just wants to be loved. Thankfully, My Pretty Vampire’s Katie Skelly delivers that with the republishing of Fantagraphics Underground hit The Agency

Skelly’s the definition of modern underground comix – her career in comics is embedded within the erotic and rebellious side of the industry, and 2018’s The Agency reflects that to a T with her striking psychedelic art and her eccentric style of writing. However, what makes the 2023 publication of The Agency special is the new short story and the deeper sexual exploration that each short story takes the reader through.

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The Agency

Fantagraphics

The Agency follows multiple women known as Agents who find themselves in erotic situations, whether they be sci-fi or psychedelic. Each situation is a fun, vibrant, consensual environment with dashes of a feminist-based humor that many will appreciate. The collection is a fascinatingly beautiful look into Skelly’s older work and how she’s grown over the years as an artist and writer, and how she has a deep appreciation and love for the underground comix scene, even taking time to throw nods towards superhero comic books with a few extra gags sprinkled here and there. Skelly’s art in The Agency stands out from a lot of her projects due to the feminist expression played throughout each short story. 

Each story tackles a level of feminine romance and beauty from the viewpoint of a woman in control, each Agent representing the deeper aspects of love and sexuality, from Agent 8’s sexually charged cosmic adventures to Agent 69—Skelly’s new short story. The short story itself reflects the evolution of The Agency’s publication history going from web series to Fantagraphics as it ushers as a loving gift to those who followed the series in the years of their original publication through Slutist.com, even writing a short story—Agent 73—during her time at the site with her friend and co-host of Trash Twins, Sarah Horrocks.

The Agency

Fantagraphics

As someone who’s always held a deep love for underground comix, I always believed that Katie Skelly was going to stay a titan in the field due to channeling the same level of feminist writing that the creators of Tits & Clits—which was recently republished by Fantagraphics—held years ago in the 1970s. If superheroes and supervillains carry the mainstream world of comics, then erotica and more rebellious ventures into comedy and politics hold the comic industry on its shoulders. 

The Agency
‘The Agency’ is modern underground comix at its best
The Agency
The Agency is a sexual science fiction and psychedelic ride with an addictive art style and a passionate love for the medium.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Katie Skelly's writing and art are beautifully erotic and psychedelic.
Each story plays with themes of consenual sex and erotic situations that bring out a deep passion for feminist storytelling.
The short stories are a love letter to underground comix as a whole.
10
Fantastic
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