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honkytonk sue 2
excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 8
Honkytonk Sue #2
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Only Printing / February, 1980 / 76 pages / Bob Boze Bell
After constant pleading from horny male fans, Bob Boze Bell finally grants their most-desired request with Honkytonk Sue #2, the Sex Issue. Okay, maybe it's not really called the Sex Issue. But of the four issues of Honkytonk Sue, this is the one that comes closest to earning that nickname. Bear in mind, Sue doesn't get naked. And to be honest, there are no actual depictions of sex, either. This ain't Eros Comix, 'kay? But Honkytonk Sue #2 puts Sue in some pretty steamy situations and she reacts exactly the way we'd expect her to react; lahk a winnah.

The 64 pages of comics in the second issue are divided into two epic adventures. The first is "Lady Killers from Outer Space," in which Sue and her buddy Donna Jean are abducted by space aliens who plan to feed the girls to a computerized sex machine with lethal desires. Although the machine ends up devouring its victims, it's not all torture. As the aliens advise them, "By giving yourself to its powers you will feel pleasure you never knew existed." That's great, but you also end up dead! Donna Jean goes first and the machine makes quick work of her, overwhelming her with sexual pleasure as it consumes her.

Due to immobilizing lasers, Sue is unable to fight back as she is locked into the massive machine after Donna is gone. But she's got a little surpise in store when the machine tries to overwhelm her with sexual pleasure. Sue can dish it out as good as she can take it, and within minutes she has overpowered the machine with her own sensory output. The aliens are stunned when the machine suffers from "premature computation" and Sue emerges as the victor. How the hell did "a mere Earth woman" defeat their killer sex machine? Sue snaps back with a classic response; "Listen up, space for brains. Sex is in th' mand, not the behand." Properly awed, the aliens rescue Donna Jean from the intestines of the broken machine and safely return the girls back to Earth.

The second story is "Deco-dent Deva," which pits Sue against a ruthless sex dominatrix named Deva Dikester from California, who has bought a local run-down cattle ranch for $3 million. Sue soon suspects that "Ther's somethin' queer goin' on" at the ranch and sets off with Donna Jean that night to investigate. Armed guards thwart their initial approach, chasing Donna Jean away, but Sue is far too insistent to git scared off by automatic rifle fire. Unfortunately, she is captured just as she discovers the nature of the cargo that's been shipping in and out of the ranch since the day Deva bought it.

Under gunpoint, Sue is forced to swallow quaaludes, a barbituate with reknown aphrodisiac effects. After the drugs loosen up their victim, Deva orders a couple of ranch hands to sexually molest our sweet Sue, which Sue does not seem to mind one bit. In her apparently drug-induced sex mania, Sue even begins singing Donna Summer disco songs as the cowboys ravage her body. Meanwhile, Donna Jean has contacted the state governor to organize a rescue of her friend, but will the cowboy calvary get there in time?

Before we find out, Sue has seduced Deva herself into a lesbian tryst and the sparks are flying. Just when we reach the point of no return, Sue's true colors (red, white and blue, no doubt) come out and she mounts one last attempt to restore justice to the state of Arizona. And since this is Honkytonk f'in Sue, I bet you can write the rest of the story (no, best leave that to Bob Boze Bell; he's the expert here).

Honkytonk Sue #2 actually does drag in a few spots, but overall the book is a flatbed truckload of fun. The production issues from the first issue are essentially (but not entirely) solved here, and the dilemmas and confrontations Bell crafts into the stories are presented with wit and a thick veneer of Southwestern charm. There's about double the number of ad pages in this issue compared to the first but whatever helped Bell pay the printing bill is okay by me. I like the Honkytonk Sue t-shirt that's advertised on page 30, but it's really designed for women, not men, so I guess I won't try to track one down on eBay.

I don't think you have to be a fan of country music, rodeos or cowboy hats to end up liking Honkytonk Sue. I'm not a big fan of any of those, but I believe the humor and spirit in these comic books transcends the Country Western genre and should appeal to just about everyone.
Bob Boze Bell printed approximately 5,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted.
Bob Boze Bell - 1, 3-31, 33-69, 70-74 (ads)
Jimi Giannatti - 32 (photo)