SPX Talks: Sylvan Migdal, "Curvy" / by Alex Jarvis

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Curvy is the story of an intrepid young girl who finds her way to a magic candy kingdom, facing down pirates, exploring the multiverse, and making new friends along the way. Curvy is not a story for kids.

Indeed, Curvy is a sensationally NSFW story that centers around regular old human Anais and her black licorice girlfriend/lover as they explore the multiverse. The comic has a strange cast, full of pirates, candy people and the oddly phallic props they tend to carry. It’s available, in its entirety, on the web at the cleverly named C.urvy.org. (No that's not a typo it's the actual address.) I’m a huge fan, and you should be too.

Spandexless: How did this particular story [Curvy] get started?

Sylvan Midgal: I was kind of trying to decide what to do. I had been in a fine arts school, where people were sort of, you know -- everything had to be super fancy. It had kind of pushed me a little bit in the direction of stuff that was more, y’know --“Quasi-Profound?” I kind of wasn’t feeling it anymore, and I wanted to do something that indulged all of my whims, and try to make something as fun as I can make it. So, like, what is it I like doing? Sex, science fiction, candy, y’know, and throw it all together.

S: That is a powerful combination.

SM: Yeah!

S: I tried to think of a way to word this next question in a way that wasn’t so... but I guess there is no way to avoid it. I know a lot of women that like your comic, really enjoy it. When I ask them why, they say “Oh, the author has a really keen sense of female sexuality. Oh, whoever writes this, she’s great, she’s fantastic.” Which is why I thought, “Of Course the creator is a woman!” (ED: I had actually approached the young woman working at the Curvy booth for the interview, only to be immediately and embarrassingly corrected.)  There’s no other way to ask this: How are you so in touch with the needs of a Woman?

SM: (Laughs). Um... I don’t know if there is some secret to that. To some extent it has to do with my own sexuality, which is, I’m interested in the way I approach eroticisim, thinking about the woman’s point of view... y’know...

S: It’s a weird question, I admit. It’s just that so many people I spoke to just assumed that you were a woman because of how spot-on it was.

SM: And that’s part of the reason I was driven to make the comic. The Existing stock of porn in our world is heavily slanted towards stuff that takes the male point of view and takes it to the extreme. It’s stuff that appeals to a Man’s supposed desire to, y’know, have this zone of total control where he gets to have any kind of sex he wants with, basically, the sex-doll of his fantasy. Which is, you know. Whatever. That doesn’t appeal to me, which means the porn that is out there doesn’t appeal to me, and I thought it would be cool to make something that is sort of, you know, more what I am interested in - which is something I think more women are interested in. Characters that you’re interested in, having sex that you’re interested in, that obviously involves people you’re interested in.

S: Absolutely. As I said, I’m a huge fan.

Both: (Nervous Laughter)

S: So, how did the science fiction come in? And for an immediate follow-up: how did the candy come in?

SM: (Laughs) The candy thing actually came from the art. I was doodling characters and I started doodling a girl that was all black, and I decided that she was made of licorice, and that was how that happened.

S: Regarding the main character, Anais: what is next? We’ve met pirates, we’ve sailed the multiverse with her...

SM: Things are actually about to cool down for her, we’re going to bring it closer to home.

S: So, as a wrap-up question: What have you seen at SPX that has excited or delighted you?

SM: Oh, man. There is so much good stuff. Jessica has a huge totebag of all the stuff --I haven’t really been doing the buying. I have read through a huge pile of minis that I bought from Liz Suburbia, which is really awesome. That’s been my only con reading. So far.