Yesterday, Portland-based indie publisher Oni Press announced the launch of Limerence Press, an adult imprint that will publish erotica and sex education comics. This imprint will be “focused on positive, diverse, and approachable stories that reflect a wide variety of emotional and intimate experiences.” Oni Press Managing Editor Ari Yarwood, who will be heading Limerence, also stated that these comics will “reflect the wonderful spectrum of human sexuality.”
Limerence will kick off its line of sex ed comics with the first three print volumes of the popular webcomic Oh Joy Sex Toy by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan. This weekly sex toy review started in April 2013 and also features book reviews, interviews with sex workers, and guest comics about love, sex, and sexuality.
“Our shelves have been full of beautiful Oni books for years and we’re both so honored and delighted for the opportunity to put our books alongside theirs. We are a small, two-person comic-making team, and with Limerence we’re looking forward to having our work reach a broader audience of people who crave fun sex positivity and bad puns in their life,” said Moen.
The printing agreement between Limerence and the OJST team is a bit different. The third Oh Joy Sex Toy book will be funded through Kickstarter and printed by Limerence, and this special edition is what Moen and Nolan will sell online, at conventions, and at book signings. Limerence will also print a standard edition of volume 3, and this is the edition you’ll find in bookstores, comic shops, and other traditional retailers.
This is similar to the printing arrangement between Oni and Rosy Press earlier this year. In February, the two publishers partnered to create a print edition of the Eisner-nominated digital anthology Fresh Romance. One month later, Rosy Press founder Janelle Asselin had successfully funded a special Kickstarter edition of the anthology that would only be available to backers. The standard edition goes on sale August 10. I don’t know if Kickstarter editions like these will become a standard practice for Oni and Limerence, but if it brings in more revenue for creators and keeps indie presses like Oni going strong, then I’m all for it!
Yarwood also credited the success of the launch to webcomics: “We owe a debt of gratitude to C. Spike Trotman and the webcomic creators who are already publishing awesome sexy comics for paving the road ahead, and I hope that Limerence Press will add another venue and voice for erotica and sex education comics with the quality that Oni Press is known for.”
I can’t wait to share more secret sexy projects soon 😀 this imprint is my passion project and I’m super grateful to get to run it
— Ari Yarwood (@AriYarwood) May 9, 2016
As someone who’s been reading OJST since day one, I’m proud to see how far they have come, and am thrilled to see smart publishers drawing on the talent of creators who don’t always get their due because of the division between print and webcomics. Seeing the work of Oni and Limerence gives me hope that these barriers will continue to break down, and independent artists and writers can keep making the comics they love.
Oh Joy Sex Toy volumes 1 and 2 will be available for preorder through May 18 Previews, and on sale in comic shops on Wednesday, October 5. You’ll be able to preorder the standard edition of volume 3 in July, and purchase in-store on Wednesday, November 9.