Nat Gertler of About Comics, which specialises in excavating comic book, cartoon and cultural elements of the twentieth century, has turned to attention to the work of Sergio Aragonés – and some of his seemingly forgotten risque cartoons from decades past. Gertler writes,
Beloved cartoonist Sergio Aragonés, back in his early years of doing cartoons in the margins of Mad magazine, was doing some rather racier work on the side. He had big hits anonymously drawing cartoons written by others for a series of cartoon booklets about Jewish madam Fanny Hillman, and a feet-only view of couples in the midst of lovemaking in the Sam, The Ceiling Needs Painting series. After doing these racy books for Kanrom Publishing, Sergio finally did a book of racy cartoons solo for Kanrom's short-lived sister company, Alexicon. Aunt's In Your Pants: Memoirs of a Dirty Old Woman was a 48 page 6" square booklet that bore Sergio's name proudly on the cover. The cartoons were built around Aunt Lil, an overly-aggressive older woman who peeps, gropes, and seduces her way to her own libidinous satisfaction. Alexicon published their final book in 1970, Kanrom had a few projects over the next few years, but Aunt's In Your Pants never got to see the success of those earlier volumes. Copies have been hard to find.
As a publisher, I'm a bit of a scavenger. I love finding old thing that are interesting but forgotten, and certainly anything Sergio has done is interesting. I also love things that reflect their times, and Aunt's In Your Pants is certainly that. Much of this material would not be done today, using sexually predatory behavior as the basis for humor; this reflected the sexual emancipation of women being taken to a dangerous extreme. (I've already reprinted some of Sergio's Mad Magazine compadres work from this 1960s, putting both Mort Drucker's JFK Coloring Book and Jack Davis' Khrushchev's Top Secret Coloring Book in Cold War Coloring: Political Adult Coloring Books Of The Kennedy Era, as well as reprinting JFK Coloring Book separately with more of Drucker's political caricature work added on as a bonus. But digression is a thing I do.) The work is full of Sergio's spritely sensibility, from all the ornate detail of the cover to some sly little touches inside. Fanny Hillman even makes a crossover into the book, once in an obvious way, and a couple more for those who like to look at the details.
So, with Sergio's okay, I've just brought Aunt's in Your Pants back to press for the first time in half a century, from my publishing line About Comics. The new edition is larger, eight inches square, since it no longer has to fit in the sort of impulse-purchase display that the original edition was designed for. (This edition will mainly be sold through Amazon, where it's already available, and by Sergio at conventions, although I will certainly take wholesale orders from comic shops.) It's not going to sell the hundreds of thousands of copies that some of Sergio's booklets from the time sold, but I will be glad to get it into the hands of the dedicated Sergio fans and the curious.