Stripped

Peter Kuper, Author Fantagraphics Books $9.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-56097-177-1
No autobiographical cartoonist can be said to have arrived without the obligatory work exposing the most hilarious and/or pathetic moments of his or her sexual coming of age. In Stripped, Kuper (ComicsTrips) delivers, rendering himself as a Hugh Hefner-like, pipe-smoking, bathrobed narrator, he takes us on a trip back to his high school years. But Kuper was clearly no playboy; he portrays himself as a ridiculously timid ``bunny-boy,'' mortified by his own virginity, hopping away at strategic erotic moments, obsessed with sex but terrified at the prospect. ``The fun I could have had if I knew what I know now!'' grumbles Kuper/Hefner as he reviews one (bungled) nubile opportunity after another. He was much better at pot and drugs (``I took to dealing pot like a gambler to a craps table''); he recounts his well-researched pot connoisseurship, and there is a wonderfully illustrated reminiscence of his first acid trip: ``I never realized I could look into the center of the earth.'' Kuper rounds out his personal sex-u-mentary with a ``girlfriend from hell'' story that caps his development from frightened teenage sexual explorer to lovesick doormat. Kuper combines a great talent for comedic writing with an inventively cartoony-and sometimes dazzling-graphic style. Drawings are in b&w. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
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