Comics, Diversity, Feminism, Gender, Interviews, LGBTQ, Race, Sexuality

Smut Peddler Interview with Editor C. Spike Trotman

Smut Peddler 2014 smut peddlermet its $20,000 goal in roughly six hours. By the time I chatted with Spike on the Tuesday night after its opening week, the project had just hit $76,000 and was the most popular Kickstarter project of over 3,000 projects the weekend before.

Smut Peddler’s editor, C. Spike Trotman, and I connected via Google Hangout to chat about what drives her to make Smut Peddler, her fantasy for paying $1000 bonuses, and why you might someday find a copy of Smut Peddler in the woods.

How do you feel about where you stand right now? It looks like you’re just over $76,000 and have met your goal, how does that make you feel?
CST: I feel completely overwhelmed. I actually counted the number of backers recently and in about five or six days Smut Peddler 2014 has gotten the number of backers that took Smut Peddler 30 days.

That’s amazing.
CST: Yes, so in less than a week I’ve transcended what I had to deal with in 2012. Kickstarter has this really unique quality of [making you] simultaneously thrilled and terrified as the number picks up. You’re like “oh my God, yes, we’re going to do it! We hit seventy! We hit  seventy-five! We’re doing it, we’re doing it! I’m terrified!” ‘Cause every tick up is more work you’re going to have to do.

What were your original hopes for the campaign?
CST: This is one of those things I can only admit to now because now it seems possible. And I would have denied ever saying this[?] even a few days ago, my big fantasy right now is $1000 bonuses for all the participants.

You know, I’ve done the math and it would have to reach $115,000 for everyone to get a $1000 bonus. And that would be AWESOME. I would be so happy to be able to do that.

Are you thinking that anthologies like Smut Peddler, being more sex positive, are a more natural way of learning about sex for those who don’t have anyone to talk about to about it, and are turning to the internet for experience or education?
CST: I have said before, and this sounds bizarre, that I hope somebody leaves SP in the woods. Because there’s this weirdI don’t know whybut there’s this weird thing that a lot of people can identify with, [where] the first porn they found was in the woods. And they were just walking around and they were maybe twelve or thirteen and there’s a soggy Playboy lying there and they have no idea why it’s out there but that’s the first porn they come in contact with. And when I say I hope that someone leaves Smut Peddler in the woods under a log one day for someone to find, [it’s] my way of saying that I hope that someone’s first exposure to sexuality, to, uh, adults sort of enjoying one another, for lack of a better term, is this sort of platform where people have all sorts of sex and it’s all sex where everybody’s happy. And everybody comes away from it, you know, completely satisfied and there’s no shame involved.

And while Smut Peddler is definitely 18+, I’m not going to sit here and say specifically “I hope children look at it.” You and I both know that stuff like this tends to show up and become the first thing someone sees, and, honestly, I wouldn’t have that big a problem with it.

What’s your personal drive in keeping SP alive, if you had to sum it up?
CST: I make it because no one else does and I think it deserves to exist. It’s the same reason all my anthology projects exist. The small press world, comics-wise, is thrilling right now. It has so much energy and so much talent in it. And there are so many things I wish it was doing that it’s not doing. So it’s one of those deals, be the change you want to see in the world. And I want to see well adjusted, sex positive, inclusive porno out there, because representation matters. The response to SP has been so warming and so exciting because clearly I’m not the only person that wants this and that’s great.

When I look at comic porn a lot of times it’s not particularly my vibe. Why can’t I find a cute fun sex comic that isn’t that dehumanizing. Why do I have to have all this baggage? That’s what Smut Peddler is about and I’m really glad it’s succeeding.

From its humble beginnings as a black-and-white mini-comic in 2003 by Saucy Goose Press, to the successful reboot of Smut Peddler in 2012, support for the sex-positive, women-centric porn comic continues to grow. Smut Peddler 2014 is currently at 539% funding with 3255 backers and that $1000 participant bonus is just a hot breath away.