NSFW: Could Comics Sell More Porn?
Submitted by michaelwhitney on March 16, 2004 - 04:31
I'll say this up front: If you're reading this at work, in a public library or on an overhead in front of your literature class, don't click on some of the links I'm about to include. I'll put "NSFW" next to them so you can't blame me when the morality cops drag you away in chains. That's right, I'm linking to porn.
Tradition holds that nigh-porn (usually inept nigh-porn) sells comics. But if you watch the livejournal communities, you've noticed one porn site (NSFW) that's trying it the other way around. (Porn sites are good at that, right. Ba-dum-ksh.)
They're posting PG-rated webcomics that also serve to promote their porn site. The site owner obviously has some enthusiasm for webcomics, so it's probably not purely a marketing move... but, hey, I wouldn't have heard of them otherwise. It could work.
There are, of course, dozens of sites that sell pornographic comics, hentai, or lovingly-rendered, illegal drawings of Disney characters doing unspeakable things. Those don't quite fit into the same category, though, since the comics are the porn, not the hook the sites use to grab eyeballs. Stile Sux (Very, Very NSFW) is the only similar use of a webcomic that I found, though it seems like less of a "friendly" draw and more of an exercise in transgressing boundaries.
I may be biased, but I'd think well-done comics would be an easy way to differentiate a site and ensure repeat visitors in an arena as crowded as Internet porn. The marketplace is glutted with naked people; give 'em comics, too. At the very least, I can guarantee it would be more effective than their constant spam campaigns.
The comics value-add worked for newspapers before the stiffs took over the newspaper comics page, right? I'm surprised that I can't find more porn sites trying this tack already. If you have more examples, leave them in the comments. We won't ask how you know.
Update: Playboy, of course, has been trying this for, oh, 50 years. I think the consensus is that their cartoons have slipped out of relevance in recent decades, though. Am I right? Would it be effective to update their offering?