Zine Scene: Chester 5000

Chester 5000Jess Fink: Chester 5000 (Top Shelf, 6/7/11, $14.95)

Adorable, charming, Victorian, romantic, endorsed by Alan Moore — these are not the words that generally are used to describe a pornographic comic book.  However, Jess Fink’s silent-movie-style erotic graphic novel is all of those, and it even features a robot, in a sci-fi twist.

Chester begins with the marriage of a young man and woman, and their disparity in bedroom tactics is immediately apparent.  Unfortunately, the young wife is completely insatiable in the bedroom, and the husband is a bit of a prude, so her husband constructs a sex-bot, Chester, to perform his duties while he tends to work.  The romantic and charming Chester does a better job than expected, however; the wife soon falls in love with him and sneaks off to have sex with the robot each day after her husband leaves.

Of course, they are caught, and the husband sells Chester to another woman.  Chester and the wife pine for each other, and in one great scene, Chester and the husband fight for her love with mechanical attachments and a large hammer, respectively.  Eventually, the husband learns the error of his ways, as well as his love for the woman who bought his robot, and, well, more sex ensues.

The true genius of Chester 5000 is that it follows almost exactly the sort of plot that you would find in a Victorian novel, only with a robot and a lot more sex.  Taken at its most basic level, Fink’s comic is about two people who are flat-out wrong for one another, who encounter all sorts of obstacles on their way to finding true love, and finally end up with whom they are supposed to be with (human or robot).  All works out right in the end, with the husband and the second young woman discovering their sexual passion (amidst a three-person-and-one-robot orgy, no less), and in true Victorian comedy-of-manners style, everyone finds their perfect match.

Fink mixes humor liberally with frank depictions of sexual passion (and especially female pleasure).  Chester’s thrusting is accompanied with a written “vert!” sound effect that will make you laugh every time. His various pleasuring attachments are diagrammed in the middle of sex scenes, and he even ejaculates oil, leaving evidence all over his mistress’s living room.  There’s an element of the ridiculous to the plot as a whole, but Fink keeps the sexual drawings varied and honestly intriguing.

The heavily shaded black-and-white art gives the comic book a soft focus and even anime-like feel, with busty, blushing women rendered in soft grays and crazy proportions.  The classic and, at times, cartoon-ish art contrasts wonderfully with the main subject matter: hardcore sex acts.

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