Eric Stanton (1926 – 1999) born Ernest Stanzoni Jr., was an American underground cartoonist and fetish art pioneer.
While Stanton began his career as a bondage fantasy artist for Irving Klaw, the majority of his later work depicted gender role reversal and proto-feminist female dominance scenarios. Commissioned by Irving Klaw starting in the late 1940s, his bondage fantasy chapter serials earned him underground fame. Stanton also worked with pioneering underground fetish art publishers, including Leonard Burtman, the notorious Times Square publisher Edward Mishkin, paperback publisher Stanley Malkin, and later magazine publisher George W. Mavety. Stanton was a frequent contributor to the magazine Exotique and other magazines produced by Burtman. For a decade, Stanton also shared a working studio with Marvel Comics legend Steve Ditko.
Past the soft-core era of the 1960s, his art became more transgressive. Creating a mail-order business in the 1970s named the “Stanton Archives,” Stanton sold his work directly to fans and, starting in 1982, issued offset staple-bound fan-inspired books known as “Stantoons,” producing more than a hundred till the time of his death. In his lifetime, Stanton also contributed to countless underground publications and later adult magazines like Leg Show and Leg World. In 1984, Stanton had the only art exhibit in his lifetime, at the New York City nightclub Danceteria. Artists Banksy, Allen Jones and Madonna, among others, took inspiration from Stanton’s work.
Early life and career
From 1958 to 1968, Stanton shared a Manhattan studio at 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue with Ditko. For many years, the two collaborated on fetish comics. Ditko biographer Blake Bell, without citing sources, said, “At one time in history, Ditko denied ever touching Stanton’s work, even though Stanton himself said they would each dabble in each other’s art; mainly spot-inking”, and the introduction to one book of Stanton’s work says, “Eric Stanton drew his pictures in India ink, and they were then hand-coloured by Ditko”. In a 1988 interview with Greg Theakston, Stanton recalled that although his contribution to Spider-Man was “almost nil”, he and Ditko had “worked on storyboards together and I added a few ideas…. I think I added the business about the webs coming out of his hands”. According to the fetish art historian and Stanton biographer Richard Pérez Seves, Stanton may have purposely underplayed his role and contribution to Spider-Man to maintain his friendship with Ditko. Even more startling, evidence exists that Stanton also made uncredited contributions to Dr. Strange.
Stanton created Blunder Broad in the 1970s with writer Andrew J. Offutt (a.k.a. Turk Winter), for use in a great number of BDSM adventures. A parody of Wonder Woman, Blunder Broad is an inept superheroine who continually fails in her missions and is invariably tortured by her enemies, who include a lesbian supervillainess called Leopard Lady, Pussycat Galore, or Cheetah, and her male sidekick Count Dastardly. Blunder Broad can be deprived of her super strength when subjected to cunnilingus.
With “Lady Princker”, Stanton and Shaltis (as well as Alan Throne and Winter) created the Princkazons storyline in which women around the world grew oversized female penises, or “princks”. These women also grew taller and stronger than men and began dominating and humiliating the men in public, including through facesitting, urophagia, coprophagia and anal and oral rape.
Beginning in the mid-1970s, Bélier Press, a New York publisher of vintage fetish art, reprinted many of Stanton’s comic serials in its 24-volume Bizarre Comix series. Titles, mainly from the 1950s, include: Dianna’s Ordeal, Perils of Dianna, Priscilla: Queen of Escapes, Poor Pamela, Bound in Leather, Duchess of the Bastille, Bizarre Museum, Pleasure Bound, Rita’s School of Discipline, Mrs. Tyrant’s Finishing School, Fifi Chastises Her Maids, A Hazardous Journey, Helga’s Search for Slaves, Madame Discipline, and Girls’ Figure Training Academy.
Book-length collections of Stanton comics have been translated into many foreign languages, including French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Dutch. Additionally, Stanton’s art was reprinted in the 1990s in comic books from Fantagraphics Books’ imprint Eros Comix: The Kinky Hook (1991), Sweeter Gwen (1992), Confidential TV (1994), and Tops and Bottoms # 1 – 4 (1997). Individual issues were subtitled “Bound Beauty” (# 1), “Lady in Charge” (# 2), “Broken Engagement” (# 3), “Broken Engagement 2” (# 4).
- Eric Stanton & the History of the Bizarre Underground by Richard Pérez Seves. Atglen, Schiffer Publishing, 2018. ISBN 978-0764355424