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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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04/29/2004 Archived Entry: "Artbook review: Mermaid Play"

Reviewed by William Wentworth-Sheilds

Mermaid's Play is a self-published portfolio of erotic mermaids. The mind and hand behind the enterprise is Ric Quiroz, who according to the back cover blurb, and his resume, has a rich, varied, and long career in the animation industry, including two "Emmy Award Certificates" for his work on Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain. He's also worked on Family Guy, The Critic, and The Simpsons.

His book mainly features the kind of artistic nudes found in Playboy, with about the same range of body types and ethnicities. Which is to say, not very broad. As pornography it isn't especially enlightened. At the least, it isn't the monthly gynecology seminar that is the typical issue of Hustler; bare breasts are the extent of the nudity depicted. As art, it's hard to imagine hanging more than a handful of the pages on a spare wall. And yet, the various commingling of female upper bits with aquatic lower bits are actually inventive, and erotic, when intended, and funny, when intended.

Quiroz manages to make being a mermaid, being nude, and not incidentally, sex, look like a heck of a lot of fun, something that escapes the grasp of Playboy's erotic foreplay fables. The humor is gentle, and winsome. If, after the five minutes it takes to flip through the fifty-plus black and white illustrations, you aren't wearing a big, silly, bemused grin on your face ... you're doing it wrong.

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