LUST: Kinky Online personal Ads from Seattle’s The Stranger, adapted by Ellen Forney, is an awesome collection of illustrated personal ads from Seattle’s independent weekly. It sounds like a strange premise for a book, but as sex columnist Dan Savage (of “Savage Love”) explains in the introduction, “The personal ads in The Stranger aren’t for the faint of heart.”
Since personal ads in print have always been limited space-wise by payment that functions by the number of words the author uses, the Lustlab ads became even more hardcore by the limited words available for expressing extremely specific kinks. In order to lighten the mood, the newspaper began a series called “Lustlab Ad of the Week,” which featured Forney’s distinctive artistic style as well as selections from actual personal ads. The result has found its way into this 168-page book, along with some of Forney’s interviews with the people who inspired her work.
The book is at times hilarious, sometimes creepy (when you think too much about what some of these people are looking for), but always presented in a sex-positive, non-judgmental manner. Forney’s drawings are fabulous, a mixture of cute and sexy with lots of allusions from pop culture to high art. A large part of the fun is in seeing how she translates the print ads to graphics, without being crude. It’s a really playful take on ads that could otherwise come off as filthy and sensational.
Recommended for anyone who’s ever read the personals section, taken out an ad or looked for sex and love online!
For more of Ellen Forney’s graphic work, check out ellenforney.com. She also posts new Lustlab ads weekly on her blog.
(Originally reviewed at Black Heart Magazine)