Since their origin, comics have proven extremely adaptable and with that in mind, it’s no wonder that their history has long been tied up with sex. From the hidden but long established connection to pornography that the Big Two have to Tijuana Bibles to R. Crumb, comics have never been dissociated from sex, yet we rarely talk about sex in comics. That’s where Fluid Exchange comes in, as an opportunity for LC’s staff to pontificate on the more erotic artistry that’s out there in the medium, whether it’s the gorgeous and painstakingly detailed work of the Manaras and Moebiuses of the world to the quirkier sexperiments of Los Bros Hernandez and the boom of erotic webcomics, we’re here to discuss it.
Today we dig into Rupert Everton’s (aka Alexis Flower) “fantastic adventure porn” I Roved Out, a gorgeous and extremely sexed up fantasy webcomic following the adventures of Cinder, an elf ranger, and Maeryll, a snow elf who formerly served as an assassin before shifting her passions elsewhere. Both of them are doing their best to avoid a traditional fantasy adventure by fucking everything in sight and slacking off, but somehow adventure keeps finding them.
Do you ever imagine what the world would be like if everyone didn’t keep their libidos in check? Rupert Everton’s I Roved Out is a lot of things but I think you can argue that what it chiefly is is an answer to that question. Billed as “a warmly pornographic fantasy saga,” I Roved Out showcases a beautiful world where problems are caused and just as often solved by immense amounts of fucking. The story’s two protagonists, Cinder and Maeryll, are skilled elves who have come together to avoid the responsibilities of their lives and focus on exploring the different ways and people (and mythical beings) they can fuck and anyone with a higher than average sex drive will find a lot to relate to.
There is of course a larger story to I Roved Out that keeps its nonstop eroticism grounded, this isn’t a porn that shies away from narrative. The world of I Roved Out is populated by recognizable mythological figures, ranging from the commonplace elves to dryads to sorcerers to valkyries and beyond. The latter beings are responsible for the events that set I Roved Out’s story in motion, as one of their number loses a finger on a battlefield and it eventually turns into a “moonstone,” a sort of catch all term for magical relics. A rogue “watcher,” someone whose purpose is to observe and record the actions of valkyries after battle, leaks info about this moonstone and Maeryll is asked to track it down. At the same, Cinder accidentally gets involved with a magical forest prince’s curse and is tasked with curing it by finding this same moonstone.
This being a comedic sex romp adventure story, nothing really goes as planned, mostly because Cinder and Maeryll have a hard time staying focused. The duo’s distracted shenanigans are the real draw of the story, offering as they do so many opportunities for them to indulge in the fleshy, sinful delights of the world. Everton is a master at displaying beautiful scenery of both the natural and carnal varieties and I Roved Out is a (a)rousing showcase of that. Cinder and Maeryll are both queer as fuck, and their hook-ups aren’t your standard romance novel dalliances with heaving bosoms and throbbing members- they’re imaginative and messy and loving and fun, with laughter as common as orgasms. And the body types on display are equally varied, providing a little something for everyone.
European comics are of course stock full of this kind of action while American comics, even when they’re trying to be sexy, tend to come across as stiff and awkward, so it’s fitting that Everton’s approach here is closer in aesthetic and tone to European material. I Roved Out lacks the flat color and rigid lines that even so many erotic Western webcomics have, the style here is like Clint Langley’s Slaine work by way of Stejpan Stejic’s Sunstone with lush painterly colors on textured pages, the characters’ bodies appropriately fleshy rather than overly sharp and refined. Everton’s dialogue is also a stand-out, bringing ample life to the characters, keeping them from being flat and hollow. Cinder and Maeryll in particular have brilliant chemistry and speak like actual friends (who happen to fuck a lot) with real experiences in common.
More than anything, I Roved Out succeeds at delivering on the promise of fantasy in all its definitions. With its enchanting world and even more enchanting lustful encounters, I Roved Out is enticing in its beauty and flavor, making for a story that pulls you in with its characters and their interactions rather than with fantasy’s more typical reliance on narrative hooks and gimmicks. The cast of I Roved Out are characters you just want to be with, in every sense of that phrase, and so it’s not hard to understand why they’re less interested in getting along to the main quest line when there’s so much fun to be had avoiding destiny. Once you read it yourself, don’t be surprised if you end up a little too entranced to focus on your own destiny.
Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Loser City as well as Ovrld, where he contributes music reviews and writes a column on undiscovered Austin bands. You can also flip through his archives at Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover