Cinema Sewer's Robin Bougie
Interview by Janelle Hollyrock
Robin Bougie is the friendliest pervert in Vancouver . So it's only fitting that when I show up to the launch party for the latest issue of his adults-only comic CINEMA SEWER at Vancouver's last porn theatre, The Fox, he would greet me with both a huge smile and an offer to tour the smut house and check out the hooker blowing guys in the back row . Sure enough, when we open the door to The Fox's balcony a woman looks up from furiously sucking some guy off and scowls at us like a startled vampire. Last week, Bougie tells me, a close friend of his was up in that very balcony with her girlfriend and a big ol' strap-on and reportedly had quite a good time putting on a show for the men below.
Clearly, The Fox was the perfect venue for Bougie to release Cinema Sewer #21.
For a filthy comic that ends up next to the toilet in men's washrooms across North America, Australia , and Japan , Cinema Sewer is an immensely readable zine. While it's based on filth and depravity with articles like Drink My Piss: The Golden Showers of Porn and The Official Cinema Sewer Boner Inducer Of The Issue, not to mention containing a healthy dose of dirty drawings, Bougie also infuses Cinema Sewer with his love of exploitation movies beyond the pornographic. Cinema Sewer #21 sees Bougie going off on the “douchebags” that didn't get Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse; penning a fascinating look at Ted Bundy's role in the anti-porn movement of the ‘80s; and reviewing Making-Of docs for Caligula, The Shining, and Rosemary's Baby.
Of course, all of this is interspersed with Underappreciated Fuck Stars illustrations and lines like: “Polanski, despite his later cravings for teenage bumhole, seems weary of [Mia Farrow's] constant childlike behavior.” But it's really Bougie's personable and affable voice that keeps it all together. So much so that when he stops in the middle of a gripping review of The Public Sex of Sonan to exclaim, “You have no idea how many times I've spanked it to this movie,” you're already cheering him on.
Whether you're spanking anything to Bougie's zine or not is your own business, but Cinema Sewer is such a good adult-only mag that, for once, you'll also be able to assert you're just reading it for the articles and mean it.
GRAVY: Cinema Sewer is advertised as making its long-awaited return tomorrow night. Where did it go?
BOUGIE: A lot of people have assumed that it went under since they haven't seen an issue for a while, but that's just because I switched to a yearly publishing schedule. The reason for that is that it's fucking expensive to print this thing, and I'm far from rich. I also started a 60-page yearly smutty comic book anthology called SLEAZY SLICE. So you're still getting two publications from me per year, but only one Cinema Sewer. I also print lots of other little 1-time side projects, like MY SECRET COCKUPATION, which is collaboration between a local whore and myself. She wrote some great, entertaining memories and experiences from her line of work, and I illustrated them. It turned out great. We're both really proud of it.
GRAVY: What's Cinema Sewer all about? How did it get started?
BOUGIE: I write about how it started at length in the forward to my book CINEMA SEWER: THE ADULTS ONLY GUIDE TO HISTORY'S SICKEST AND SEXIEST MOVIES, which was just published by FAB PRESS in the UK , and which is, for my money, the greatest movie book-publishing house in the world. The book they did up is a collection of the best of the first 12 issues, plus over 80 pages of new material. Long story short: I wanted a way to combine my 3 passions at the time, comic books, zines, and weird/smutty/exploitive/horrific movies. Putting out something like Cinema Sewer in a zine format, and encapsulating comics (or at least the aesthetic of comics) as a medium to talk about and expose these movies seemed perfect. It took about 6 or 7 issues to really find my voice and get the zine the way I wanted it, but once I'd broken through, it came a lot easier, and felt so fulfilling. Making the magazine really is one of my favorite things in life.
GRAVY: Cinema Sewer is in its 11th year! Do you see it going another decade?
BOUGIE: Even if everyone stops reading it, I'll still do it. I don't care. As long as I'm still having fun doing it, I'll keep doing it.
GRAVY: Cinema Sewer #21 opens with a comic by D. Otis and Phil Barrett called Discovering Refinements in Love. What's that all about?
BOUGIE: Well, this good friend of mine (and a sometimes contributor to the mag) Dmidtri Otis has this obsession with this local porn theatre called The Fox, and it totally rubbed off on me, and over the years we've had quite a few adventures there. He's gotten quite chummy with the owners, and sometimes works there. One night, he went behind the screen and discovered some film canisters. He called me up, and that night after the gay men that fellate each other had all left, we threw one of the reels on and cracked open some stouts. Turns out that the movie Dmidtrui found back there was a lost movie. The final surviving print of this amazing mondo-style hardcore porno white coater starring personal fave Rene Bond. It's called REFINEMENTS IN LOVE, and after we realized what we'd unearthed from the cum and urine-coated bowels of The Fox, we got the DVD company IMPULSE PICTURES to take a look at it. We were really impressed with some of their other DVDs, so when they wanted to put it out, we were all for it.
GRAVY: The National Post ran an article last year about the Venus Adult Theatre before it was closed where the author reported on hookers offering blow jobs in the aisles, patrons having sex on sofas in front of voyeurs, and addicts crawling on the carpet looking for loose crumbs of crack and crystal meth. And you wrote on The Cultural Gutter that it's a "tad nightmarish." Fun! Yet you're not afraid of launching Cinema Sewer #21 at The Fox, another porn house in Vancouver . What's the difference between The Fox and The Venus?
BOUGIE: Well, there used to be very different vibes at the two, but we've noticed in the last few weeks that since The Venus was torn down, many of the hookers that used to ply their trade down there have now come up the hill and are now turning tricks in The Fox. For many years it was mostly only gay men getting jiggy, straight men masturbating, and the occasional slut that would come in and do a free-for-all. But the ladies of the night define their surroundings and it's the oldest profession for a reason. I really urge people to come down and check this place out for themselves, because we've really got something special and rare here. Bring your boyfriend or girlfriend. Have a naughty adventure. There really isn't anything to be afraid of aside from the smell. One day soon The Fox will be gone like The Venus, and you'll be left wishing you had ventured in there at least once to see what it was like. These fuck-film palaces are dinosaurs and not long for this planet.
GRAVY: Your Livejournal is so addicting! I read the whole thing during one especially slow work night. I was harassing Colin Upton to get on Facebook once and he informed me Livejournal is where all the cartoonists hang out. What's with LJ and cartoonists?
BOUGIE: The thing with Livejournal and comic artists is the friend feature is really handy for reading comics and keeping up to date with the people who make them. Instead of going to thousands of separate blogs for these artists, you can find them on LJ, friend them, and when you read your friends page it has all the comics these people have posted that day on the same page for you to scroll through and comment on. And they can comment on your comments, and all kinds of great feedback and friendships begin from there. It's a good community for that, so it bums me out when people just think Livejournal is a bunch of teenagers posting an online diary. It's all about the comics, man. I've gone to comic conventions in other cities and there are all these people I know personally everywhere selling their comics, and yet it's the first time we've ever met. It's really cool.
GRAVY: What other cartoonists or artists do you like or find inspiration from?
BOUGIE: I don't wear my inspirations on my sleeve like a lot of artists do, but I do find myself trying my best to be as awesome as people like: Milo Manara, Robert Crumb, Jordi Bernet, JAKE [ Karns ] , VINCE, COOP (gotta love those one-name guys), Junko Mizuno, Danny Hellman, Brandon Graham, and Rebecca Dart.
GRAVY: And finally, what's your favorite era or genre of porn to jerk off to?
BOUGIE: I'm glad you asked because it allows me to go off on a little tirade that I've been mulling over for the last couple days in the back of my mind. For me, successful porn doesn't even have to give me a boner. That may sound odd, but I'll tell you why. It's the same reason you can love a horror movie that doesn't actually scare you. Maybe you're into cool gore FX, maybe you like the director. It could be lots of things. A classic ‘70s porno, for instance, may be filled with totally unattractive, sweaty, hairy, skuzzy people who couldn't get my dick hard if they tried, and yet it might be one of my fave adult films of all time. It's all about the way the movie comes together, the sets, the atmosphere, the acting, the dialog, the story, and the amazing fashions. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you have to enjoy them ironically and laugh at them, I'm just saying that XXX is far more multi-faceted and enjoyable once you know the history of the films and people who made them. I do what I can with Cinema Sewer to help people with that.
That said, what I jerk off to changes quite often. When it comes to modern filth, I really like to switch it up as much as I can, and keep things fresh. Sometimes I'll try to get worked up over fetishes I'm not really into just to see if I can. Lately I've really been really enjoying bestiality porn with women having sex with dogs. My other flavor of the moment is porn that features people crying. I predict tears will be the new money shot in the near future. You might assume that I'm into seeing women mistreated or abused from hearing that, but I think what I respond to is the realness of the emotion in an industry plastered in fake tits, fake ecstasy, and fake everything. It's so powerful and direct. I've got a big article in 2009's Cinema Sewer about crying in porn, so you'll get to read all about it next February!
Buy CINEMA SEWER, SLEAZY SLICE, MY SECRET COCKUPATION and more at www.cinemasewer.com "www.cinemasewer.com . Visit Robin Bougie's Livejournal at http://bougieman.livejournal.com“>http://bougieman.livejournal.com .
Fab Press www.fabpress.com
Phil Barrett www.blackshapes.com
The Cultural Gutter www.theculturalgutter.com
Colin Upton www.colinupton.com
Milo Manara www.milomanara.it
Robert Crumb www.crumbproducts.com
Junko Mizuno www.mizuno-junko.com
Danny Hellman www.dannyhellman.com
Brandon Graham www.myspace.com/royalboiler
Rebecca Dart http://www.indyworld.com/dart/