The Further Adventures of Doll (1995) by Guy Colwell
This is a blog series about a publisher that did a lot of underground comics, so while talking about the books, there’ll be sexual material included. However, I’ve tried to keep it to a reasonable level, because I want to be all family friendly and stuff? But that would be really misleading in this case, so there’ll be a bunch of snaps of pages with very explicit sex.
If that’s not you want to see, then hit Ctrl+w now.
I read the original Doll series as a teenager, but I honestly didn’t remember that there was this much plot to the series. I mean, I haven’t seen it for decades, but I had absolutely totally forgotten everything about the sculptor, the disfigured guy, and all this… plot.
I thought I remembered the book being all this — men finding Doll and then fucking her. (Oh, I forgot to mention that Doll is a hyper-realistic sex doll, and not an actual woman.)
This book collects issues 5-8 of the Doll series, published by Rip Off Press. I think I only had the first few issues of the series? So the issues reprinted here are new to me.
But this is basically the bulk of the book — people talking about Doll, trying to find Doll, and wondering just why she drives men crazy. But there’s not really that much… plot development. Instead each issue introduces a new group of men, while Doll’s creator (above) agonises about what he’s done.
Colwell is a pretty thoughtful guy. His Inner City Romance series dealt with all sorts of social issues, and his piece in Bizarre Sex #10 is absolutely fantastic. So he constantly problematises why these men want to fuck Doll — “I know where you can get some corpses, assholes” — but also doing this in the context of being a porn comic. You have to assume that most people buy this for the sex scenes, and not for, er, the rest, right?
It’s pretty episodic — that is, it’s one long narrative, but in each issue, we get a full story about a group of people. The weakest is definitely this one about a Buddhist commune taking Doll in.
I wondered whether this series was done over a large number of years, since Waxman’s look changes so much, but he’s just deteriorating while obsessing over how to find Doll and destroy her.
The final issue is a kind of descent into Hell sort of thing, and it’s more than a bit affecting. The issue does end with Doll still remaining un-down-melted, but Colwell hasn’t continued the series.
Fantagraphics published a complete collection of all eight issues in 2019.
What made Guy Colwell’s Inner City
Romance so different from other un-
dergrounds was its basis in reality. He
made it obvious that, while talking
cats and high-stepping hats made for
good unclean fun, there was nothing
like drawing the world you know. No-
thing else is quite as compelling as
He hasn’t forgotten that precept.
The “hero” of Doll may be the horri-
bly disfigured Evergood Crepspok or
the artistically gifted Wiley Waxman,
co-creators of the marvelously lifelike
and erotic title mannequin. The “vil-
lains” may be a succession of slimy
manipulators, starting with Mal
Murphy, the publisher of Tight Night
Magazine, who funds her creation,
supposedly for Crepspok. But as
Dickensian as the characters may
seem, as outlandish the concept of
such a perfect replica, Colwell never
lets us lose sight of the humanity of
one and all—excepting Doll; who is
never more than plastic for reader or
character. Early in this second issue
Crepspok thinks, “I knmv that finding
a connection even with a not so pretty
woman who really wants me uould be
a finer, fuller, more complete experi-
ence than this. If only I could hope
for such a connection.” Murphy, his
antithesis, approaches the same revel-
ation from the opposite direction,
“You don’t think, you don’t talk, you
don’t get pregnant, and you don’t ask
me for anything. You just exist for me
to screw—just the way a uornan ought
to.” It’s ironic that, so far, every male
but the aptly named Evergood has
This issue has one of the best chase
scenes I’ve seen in comic form. It also
has a believable “sting.” Colwell is a
competent draftsman, and has a good
handle on dialogue. The only thing
really lacking in Doll is its ostensible
reason for existing. The sex scenes are
imaginative, but short, almost as if
Colwell considered them a hindrance
to the pace of his story. Cherry, or
even Black Kiss, has longer sexual in-
terludes, with greater variety of posi-
tions and situations. Doll, though, has
much more depth than either comic.
It’s a reflection of the real world.
It’s light-years beyond any mere
space opera; more in-your-face than
Doll may have been published as part of a line of wank books, but creator Guy Colwell delivers much more than mere sexual thrills. In fact, he delivers a comic that is nearly the precise opposite of what it promises. In the end, Doll reads like a warning that excessive blind lust will corrupt minds, destroy lives, kill relationships, and act as slow poison for society. It’s a sobering book which contains themes that are as contemporary as they were thirty years ago.
Colwell was interviewed recently:
From when Wiley is propositioned by Evergood to “make me a woman” to the realization of Doll, no one stops to question if making a sex doll for a deeply traumatized man who lives isolated in a trailer is a good idea. Looking back, why do you think that was?
Well, is “traumatized” really the right word? That has a psychological connotation that might not apply. Evergood was deeply disfigured physically but I thought of him as otherwise a rather level-headed guy who just wanted to have some kind of sexual experience other than masturbation before he died. The fact is I was in similar circumstances myself when I came up with the idea for Doll. I was not physically disfigured but lived with crippling shyness. During all the years I was in Auburn and drawing Doll, I was living alone, yes, in a motor home. I fantasized about a sex doll but as lonely as I felt, I was not an Evergood and I did not give up hope of coupling up again — a hope Evergood never had. I don’t know if I had been given access to a realistic sex doll if I would have used it, but I tend to think not. I knew the real thing would find me eventually. So since I strongly identified with the character of Evergood, I was writing from a more or less autobiographical perspective.
Do you consider Doll an erotic work? Or do you view the sex scenes more as functional for driving the plot?
Can I say the answer is both? I suppose I was inspired by Larry Welz’s Cherry books which were selling very well through Rip Off Press when I was working as art director there. So I wanted to do an erotic book and make some money, but something like the raw but trivialized sex in Cherry would not have been my way of approaching a story that had to rely on a lot of sex. Not very interesting and there were plenty of other pure stroke books out there already. I wanted something a little more serious that looked at some of the dark side and sadness and tragedy of sexuality, not just the bumping and pumping and grunting. So, yes, the sex is a driver of the storylines and, yes, it is still an erotic book meant to excite the reader.
This is the one hundred and eighty-first post in the Entire Kitchen Sink blog series.